I just went to a food tasting in preparation for a very good friend’s wedding. When my friend made the reservation she thought that we would just be sampling some dishes. My friend was super surprised when the hotel’s wedding planner sat down at the table and pulled out a folder and started discussing the details. Now the bride has a very thick folder of her own and has done tons of planning but, that folder was at home and after months of work and hundreds of decisions she couldn’t remember it all.
10 years ago my wedding planning experience was just the opposite. I scheduled a final meeting with the owner of the small inn where the reception was to be held. I prepared all my questions in advance, had done my homework and had brought detailed schedules, numbers and plans. My husband to be and I sat down with the owner and within minutes realized she was completely unprepared.
Both of these situations were frustrating for the customer. We were surprised and not prepared for what actually happened. In each case there was needless anxiety and an erosion of trust. These wedding stories are just one example but, there are often many steps in a purchase or service being offered where an educated customer makes for a better customer.
I feel it’s better to err on the side of over-communicating. Prepare your customers for their purchase and for the process. Educate them on what to expect and supply them with a list of each step of the project. Talk to them about what to expect and then follow up in writing. Let them know what is expected of them and what you will provide. Also consider listing the steps on your website, post a quick video tutorial or reference a blog post.
No one likes to be caught off guard or put on the spot or miss an opportunity or play catch up. Help your customers be good customers by educating them on the steps in the purchase process. Communicate with them often. Supply schedules. Think about what you would want if you were the buyer!