Don’t assume anything
And here are some additional thoughts on this topic…
As we help our customers it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming we know what they want. It’s even easier, if we have a good relationship with them. But when we assume, we’re not always right. And this can inconvenience our customers more than it helps them.
Recently I had my car in to the dealer for some routine maintenance. The people there are very helpful. And they’re serious about cars (which I like). While they serviced my car, they changed the temperature indicator (the one that displays outside or inside temperature). It had been on Celsius. They changed it to Fahrenheit.
Their intentions for doing this were good. They were trying to be helpful. They assumed it was incorrectly set on Celsius. (Because in the USA we typically use the Fahrenheit temperature scale.) But they were wrong. I wanted it on Celsius. If they had asked I would have said “keep it on Celsius”.
It’s not a big deal. But it is an inconvenience because now I have to figure out how to change it back to Fahrenheit.
This happens all the time. It’s so common we often miss it.
It might be a server automatically putting a lemon in your beverage. It could be a retail employee suggesting a product without asking what you want. It may be a customer support person transferring you to the wrong department because they didn’t get enough information about your issue.
If this happens enough it can reduce the quality of the customer’s experience. Then it’s more likely they’ll go to the competition. But it doesn’t have to happen. Serve your customers better by refusing to make assumptions.
For the next week, as you are a customer, look for assumptions people make about what you want or how to serve you. How often does this happen to you? And how do you feel about it when it does?