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How to Deal with Customer Indecision

January 21 2010

How to Deal with Customer Indecision

Indecision is human nature.  You and I experience it every day. So why shouldn’t our customers?  After all, they’re just human, too.  But when you’re working on a critical project, that indecision that you’re feeling on the part of your customer can become frustrating.  And it can become hard to manage.

Fear not. Don’t pull your hair out.  There are things you can do to help you and your customer along the way when you’re sensing too much indecision:

•    Communicate well.  Effective and frequent communication will serve two purposes here. It will maintain your customer’s confidence that you’re on top of things and it will keep you in constant tune with your customer’s needs.
•    Revisit requirements.  If you’re sensing uneasiness from your customer it could be that certain project management software requirements weren’t well thought out. Take some time to revisit requirements with the customer at this point and add detail or clarification where needed.
•    Hold regular meetings.  Again, consistency with the customer will make them feel as comfortable and confident as they can possibly be and may take care of some of the indecision you’re sensing.
•    Make the customer part of the ‘team.’  If your customer understands that they’re part of the main team, then they’ll feel like they’re on the inside and helping. Not on the outside looking in.  Keep them informed and engaged, and their indecisions – which may be stemming from lack of control or confidence – will hopefully fade away.

Summary

As project managers, we often feel we need total control and that we’re well equipped to handle our team, our customer, and everything that goes with the successful project management template implementation of a huge project.  But our customer is important and they’re paying the bills.  So let’s keep them well informed and ‘in the loop’ and they’re confidence will soar and they’re indecision and hesitation will fade away.