Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Expert

As learning experts, we can surely relate with this video. We often find ourselves caught up in situations where:

  1. The customer knows what they want.
  2. They know it all wrong.
  3. You’re pressurized internally by your organization to simply execute what the customer wants.
  4. And you better get it right.

What is the way out? How can we generate awesome learning experiences, and keep our customers happy? 

Five ways to handle these situations:


I Begin at Home

Lead up and educate your teams. Customers may not always be right, and the sales people / project managers need to be educated about what is wrong with the customer’s demand. Experts rarely communicate with this end of the spectrum.


II Educate the Customer

Each time you find yourself cribbing about a customer’s understanding, ask yourself these questions—

  1. Did I make an effort to educate the customer? 
  2. Did I simplify things enough? 
  3. Did I show them the implications of what they’re asking to be delivered?


III Say No

If your answers to the questions above are “Yes”, refuse to do the project. Saying a “No” means you’re honest. Explain why you’re refusing. It may not win you the goodwill of your customer in the short-term, but in the long-term they’ll know you were right.


IV Position Yourself Well

Most great experts don’t pay enough attention to how they position themselves. You’re not here to take orders, but to understand a problem and to arrive at solutions. Take a hint from the way doctors have positioned themselves. 


V Involve and Collaborate with Customers

Learning is not an exact science, and designs will evolve as you ask more and more questions, and collaborate with your clients. The more you involve them, the more they’ll understand your point of view.


We’re all guilty of being the ill-informed, confused customer. We’re this way to interior designers, architects, lawyers, accountants and to almost everyone we deal with. So, while you educate, resist, question, push back—be nice to your customers. Nothing works better than that.