Customer experience management often comes down to accountability. In order to be accountable, communication and visibility for your customers seem to be critical factors.
Lay out a clear plan for the project. By having a clear project plan, the specifics are transparent for everyone and the expectations are laid out for everyone involved. Each participant of the project is aware of their responsibilities and how they are interdependent with the other parties.
Leadership needs to be visible to the client whenever possible. Even if they are not directly involved in the transaction, it is important for customers to see that the they are involved with the company and accessible for support when necessary. It also sends the message to the customer that leadership is aware of the transaction or project at some level.
Communicate status updates to the customer. Nothing is more frustrating to customers than to feel that they have been forgotten. Even a periodic update lets the customer know that progress is being made on their project. Let them know what is currently happening. An acquaintance of mine is a home builder. He was frustrated with the concerns that he was getting from the homeowners that no work was physically being done on their home. He asked me “Don’t they know that there is so much that goes on behind the scenes when building a home?” I honestly told him that they most likely didn’t. I suggested that he send a biweekly update to the homeowner letting them know what the status of their project was – be it permit application, scheduling of contractors, etc. That way, the homeowner knows that work is being done and will save the builder the irate phone call.
It’s all about the communication. Even when issues arise, customers want those issues to be communicated to them, along with a fix for them. When you try to cover up the issues, the relationship is broken by a lack of trust. Do everything you can to keep the channels of communication open.