Thursday, December 13, 2012

Go Public Early and Often

I’m a firm believer in the art of hiding the art.

Meeting people where they are, taking them back in time, helping clients forget they’re clients and engaging people a way that they lose track of time and disappear from the world in a puff of love smoke.

But the minute customers start struggling with the ambiguity of the situation, feeling unsure of the relationship roles and questioning your expectations, every interaction thereafter is stained.

If a woman doesn’t know she’s on a date until she comes home from one, somebody failed to communicate. If a hotel guest doesn’t realize there’s an extra fee until he sees one on the bill, somebody failed to communicate. If a customer doesn’t know he’s eating at a vegetarian restaurant until he breaks out in hives, somebody failed to communicate.

When in doubt, map it out.

If you want to knock the socks of the untrusting masses, go public early and often. Telegraph your intentions. Leave as little doubt in people’s minds as possible. And never underestimate the power of observable candor.

Because there’s a fine line between frictionless service and expectational clarity, and it can make the difference between a customer for life and an online review from hell.

Everyone has an agenda, why not be one of the few to lay yours bare?