At Hoodoo we want to make sure that we are the type of agency that effectively communicates to the customer, keeping them abreast of what is going on. This includes answering the phone when they call, being available through Slack, coming on-site for face-to-face meetings, and responding to emails in a timely manner. Because of the very complex nature of the product that we support (Adobe Experience Manager) our goal is to ensure that our customers are properly communicated with. Here are three guiding principles that we try to live by to ensure a proper stream of communication with our customers.
This deals with how we communicate to the customer, either written or verbal. It should be clear and concise. When speaking, your voice should be strong, clear, and projected. Don’t mumble or cover up your mouth. The information being delivered also must be clear and to the point. Frequency is up for debate but should at least be decided on between you and the customer, bending to what they prefer, including the method. Lastly, clarity has as one of its cores a level of transparency and purity to the medium it is being applied to. This means that you should be upfront and honest at all times, even if the information being shared is unpopular or unflattering. Sometimes you have to give a hard truth and you should not be afraid to do that.
To properly communicate there must be some form of dialog back and forth. It can’t be one-sided, because then it is just a lecture. Both sides must be able to speak and listen. The listening part goes doubly for us as the implementation partner. We take the time to truly hear and validate what the customer is saying, especially because they may not be very clear in what they want. So you must be careful not to jump to conclusions. Ask clarifying questions to follow up, effectively restating what they said. And most importantly, try to see things from their perspective. You can’t always know the internal pressures that they may be under to deliver on a given AEM project. Cultivate and use your skills in empathy and sympathy so you can better understand what the other person is going through. It will help you form a closer, stronger bond.
Adobe Experience Manager is a complex system, and not everyone understands it to the level that we do. It may take a while for the customer to understand what you are trying to explain. You should take whatever amount of time is necessary to ensure that they understand the approach and why we recommend a specific course of action, explaining the task or process multiple times if necessary. Doing this helps to build the trust necessary to gain a lasting relationship. The goal is not just to get the job done and collect payment. Our goal is to become a confidant, a friend. This only happens over time.
We serve the customer. It behooves us to act professionally and know how to communicate with them towards a lasting relationship. Do you wish that your AEM implementation partner communicated like this?
We do. We’re Hoodoo.