Acknowledging problems is part of managing expectations
Research was done some time ago that suggested that the best way for doctors and hospitals to avoid costly litigation for malpractice was simply to apologize. The vast majority of people who sued their doctor or hospital just wanted someone to admit that mistakes were made!
I find a similar mindset at work when it comes to my clients working with their technology vendors. I've written before about the IT Black Hole, where all IT issues go to die. This rule also applies to how technology companies deal with their clients, and how those clients react to that.
My clients who have the greatest long-term success with their AMS typically have a very strong relationship with their AMS vendor. Part of the reason that relationship is strong is because both sides are willing to admit when they have made an error or are unable to do what the other party wants. My clients will say things like: "I really appreciate that the vendor told me this was something they just can't do, rather than trying to build something that was never going to work and would just frustrate all of us."
"Transparency" has become cliche in the business world. But being open about what you can and can't do, and accepting responsibility for errors you've made, are absolutely key to building and maintaining positive long-term relationships.
Don't be afraid to speak up! You might be surprised to find how understanding people can be.
Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives
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