What I said is not what the client heard. That happens. But I took special pains with this client to make sure everything was agreed on on both sides and that we all had clear expectations.
Then something changes. And it becomes obvious that, while I was sitting here happy that we were all on the same page, the client had a different idea of what we had agreed on. Whose fault? You guessed it, mine. I am, after all, the client services guy. If client communications breaks down, it is by definition my responsibility.
Solution? Luckily for me, the client is flexible, and his compromise works for both of us. But why was this even an issue?
Pride. I was so sure we had communicated clearly, that I did not talk with him last week to confirm where we were at. Because I knew. I could have called him last week just to check that everything was going as we had planned. I bet he would not have minded.
If this is sounding familiar, that is because I wished that Kinko’s had done the same for me instead of dropping the ball. Now I did not mess up even on the same scale as Kinko’s, but that I must make the comparison… well, it sickens me. I should be better than this, we should be better than this.
Lesson #1: just because you can recognize less-than-great client service in others does not mean you shouldn’t look in a mirror from time to time.
Lesson #2: Humility in client services is critical.