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Managing Expectations: Working with People Who Want More, Better, Faster, Sooner, NOW! by Gerald M. Weinberg, Naomi Karten

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9. Clarify Customer Perceptions

Believing is seeing

Perception is reality. True or false? When I pose this question to groups I work with, it always generates a lively discussion: about the room being warm to one person and cool to another, for example, or about a turtle appearing to move slowly to a rabbit and quickly to a snail. The point is quickly made: It is easy for two observers to perceive the same thing differently.1

A perfect example of such differences concerns your services. The way your customers perceive your services may not match the way you perceive them—or want them perceived. Yet, their perception translates into the requests and demands they make of you. And it’s this view that often creates the expectations you consider unreasonable. ...

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