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Surprise: You've Been Upgraded!

November 26, 2008  

Let's say you've been working around the clock on an improvement for your product, service or online interface. Because you know all about your upgrade, why it's needed and how much value it offers, you might forget that it will be a completely new concept to your customers. A post at the Service Untitled blog gives this advice for keeping them apprised of an upcoming change:

Use multiple communication channels to make an announcement. Most of your customers won't actively check for updates at your Web site, but they will monitor control panels, email accounts and text messages. "The key is to be creative and to understand how customers prefer to be contacted," says Service Untitled.

Outline the change they can expect—and why it's happening. Don't expect lots of buy-in if you don't explain how an upgrade will make a customer's experience easier or more efficient. Be explicit about what's in it for them, and you'll likely discover a more receptive audience.

Be realistic about timelines. Give your customers honest estimates for the time a product or service might be unavailable—during implementation, for instance—and how frequently such periods will occur in the future.

Anticipate customer queries. "Communication almost always results in questions," says Service Untitled. Be prepared with clear, concise answers and a friendly, helpful attitude.

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