Not being in the know can be extremely frustrating regardless of who you are in a particular situation – a business professional, a traveler or a customer. On a recent United Airlines flight on my way back to Los Angeles, we were held on the runway for nearly an hour after landing because they didn’t have a gate assigned for our plane. Prior to landing, the flight attendants announced that at least 20 people had a really tight connecting flight so we should let them off first or they would be stranded in the airport overnight.
The passengers grew restless and those with connecting flights became increasingly angry at the prospect of sleeping in the airport. For 50 minutes we sat on the plane, and were given one update, about five minutes in. The duration of the time on the runway, we were clueless as to what was happening.
It reminded me about the importance of keeping clients updated, even if there is no real update to give. In my situation, I would have been much more forgiving had they come on the PA system and said a few more words. It’s a way of showing clients that things are still moving and that you are on top of it. It’s that little bit of reassurance that someone is looking out for you and you don’t need to worry.
While you may be juggling several things behind the scenes to keep things moving, your client won’t know it unless you tell them. It’s that extra attention to detail that goes a long way in building your relationships with customers.