Put your arm around them and look ahead.
Everyone knew the Titanic was state-of-the-art. Everyone was impressed by its size, its technological advancement, the décor, and its sheer presence. Everyone trusted the navigation systems, the radars, the reputation of the captain. And everyone also knows how it ended. If they only insisted on placing someone on the top deck and look ahead…
"I Know, It Doesn't Make Sense — That's Why I Trust It."
Rose DeWitt Bukater To Jack Dawson, Titanic - the movie
Recently, I moved to a new house. And as part of the process, I also needed to move my internet service. Mine is with one of the well-known ones. Now, just like the Titanic, everyone knows of this carrier. Everyone is aware of how big they are, how technologically advanced they are. This communication conglomerate worked extremely hard for many years and spent zillions of dollars for us to trust this brand, for us to know they are capable. So, I call them up to move my service to the new address. The call takes about 15 minutes with a pretty pleasant representative. We set the date, scheduled a technician to arrive (not sure what for but they insisted) and we each went on our merry way.
About 4 minutes later, I check my inbox and there are…7 emails from them. SEVEN!!! The first confirms the details of the call. The second asks me to fill out a survey about the service. The third has the details about the future appointment with the technician. The fourth offers me to bundle the internet service with streaming TV service. The fifth email was reminding me to take my equipment (router). The sixth informed me that I can sign up for paperless billing. And the seventh was about an exclusive offer for a higher speed internet-fiber (which I was tempted by and clicked on the link only to find out that my new house does not yet have fiber). SEVEN!
I get there is a process. And many times, particularly with companies who offer complicated solutions (usually software-product and service) and even more specifically among technical folks and financially savvy individuals (not all of them – relax), I see the focus is around the process.
And while the focus is on the process, we naturally tend to neglect the customer themselves. My suggestion here is simple. Keep the process. It is important. Just remember, every now and then, to lift your head up from checking the boxes along the process and look at the horizon. Look at where your customer is headed. If you utilized some Emotional Relevance™ and got to an emotionally comfortable place in your relationship with your client, ask them to lift their heads up as well. With you. And together, look ahead toward where it is you are going. This will not only instill more confidence in your client about next steps, but it will also increase the level of “buy in” they have in this relationship.
What could have happened:
Just imagine if the captain of the Titanic left his station, joined Leonardo DiCaprio on the upper deck, put his arm around him, and looked ahead.