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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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10. Set Uncertainty-Managing Service Standards

Respect your customers’ wait state

Often, the hardest thing for customers to cope with is not knowing what to expect. Even when you are hard at work doing exactly what you promised, customers wonder, Did they get my message? When will they get back to me? When will my problem be fixed? How long do I have to wait?

Recognizing how unsettling this type of uncertainty is for customers, and taking action to reduce it, are important elements of managing expectations. Just knowing how long they will have to wait for some anticipated action to take place, such as the arrival of someone who can help, is sometimes more important to customers than whether that duration is desirable or convenient. Not knowing ...

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