Handling [Unrealistic?] Expectations
Regardless of how great one’s communication skills are, it is always possible that a message is received ‘differently’ to how it was intended when sent – ask anyone in a long term relationship.
Language skills, mood and / or intention of the recipient and reader are three of MANY reasons miscommunication can occur. A simple example could be that a signage quote is sent with standard industry jargon but when it is received the recipient does not ask for an explanation of the jargon but rather assumes the words used have their standard, common, meaning. If this happens it is then possible that when the work is completed the client’s expectations are not met, and a dispute arises.
From experience most times mis-communication happens it is best to talk to the client so as to clear up any misconceptions, and that will mostly resolve the issues.
However for the more complicated situations, it would be fantastic if there was a formula to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all parties.
According to business guru’s the most successful way to handle issues of misunderstanding are to:
Be Honest and Transparent. This may help close the gap between where the client’s expectations and reality lie.
Communicate openly, focusing on the problem without being judgmental or allocating blame.
Try anticipate the client’s requirements in advance. This is not always possible as when client’s are faced with multiple options they may (incorrectly) believe that all options are similar, and without asking for clarity they may not get this right. An example of this is a client following standard good governance and getting multiple (3) quotes for a sign. When the sign quotes come in from say A, B and C, the wording on the quotes may be identical, but if none of the quotes SPECIFY what material will be used, yet the quotes vary widely. The variation in the quotes can be due to very different materials being quoted on, with different life expectancies and different looks and feel. No signage client could be expected to know these differences if they are not specifically explained.
At SignForce we have been accused of being long winded and our quotes giving more details than needed. This is generally to avoid the possibility of misunderstandings by clients and also to hold ourselves accountable to ensure the correct materials are used.
If you have physical premises and you want SIGNS that WORK, consider partnering with SignForce.
SignForce has been in the market for over two decades, and have built our reputation on giving the best possible advice and producing quality signs.
Contact SignForce now on firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsaApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525
Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za