Every single day, I see problems that would be solved with better (or any) understanding, speed and an order of magnitude improvement in quality if people would just pick up the phone.
I know, especially the more technical folks out there, you want that cocoon. You want to hide and just create. Some of you might even want to focus rather than hop back and forth between your IDE, Skype, Facebook and so on.
When you’re in that mode, the phone is the last thing you want interrupting you (the interruptions are not necessary but I’ve said plenty about that in the past).
Thing is, if you don’t talk to the customer, don’t watch them use what you create, you’re missing a massive piece of the equation.
They’ll never tell you everything in a tweet, email or wall post. Never, ever. They might be meaner because of the nature of the media, but you’ll never get the whole story. You’ll never see the gleam in their eye or the song (or despair) in their voice in an email or other online message.
Don’t get me wrong – those media are important, but they aren’t as rich as you need at certain times.
Are you “Unknown” or “Blocked”?
Yesterday, I had some work done on the Mrs’ chariot and they called me to tell me it was ready.
Thing is, they called me from a number that shows up on caller id as “Unknown”.
Business owners and those-in-charge-of-telecom – NO ONE wants to talk to whoever is calling when the phone says “Unknown” or “Blocked”, particularly in an election year.
I see this regularly on customer service feedback loops, customer “your (whatever) is ready” and even SALES calls.
If the relationship you have with people requires “Unknown” or “Blocked”, I wonder why you bother to call. You have work to do on your customer relationships.
Want them to answer
Unless I’m missing out on a management secret that involves making phone calls that you don’t want answered (maybe a push poll would count there, but this isn’t a politics blog), your goal should be to get the phone answered by your customer – NOT to have it ignored.
You want to talk to them. Make it easy. Create a relationship that makes them glad to see your name on the caller id.