The philosophical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” begs the question of how we experience our personal realities. Does it matter if a tree falls if we are not there to experience it?
If you are providing services to others, there are the deliverables that you have committed to that must be tracked and completed. You may work hard at your task lists and project management to ensure you have all the things you need to stay organized and deliver.
However, along the way, just as important, is the illumination you put on the progress and work. It keeps the customer in the loop as you are doing your work and moving towards delivery.
You can look at the updates and communications as an extra step or a burden.
However, what if you saw your updates and communication as the product?
Delivering what you committed to is expected. Expecting kudos for a job well done may be misplaced.
However, we are all starved for surprise, personal care and love. And in a connected world of infinite options, what if you carefully look at how you manage the customer experience the entire way?
At minimum, when something gets done of significance or meaning, send a note with a thought so you can frame expectations and help the customer see what is happening. This keeps them engaged and on your side of the table.
If you find that you have to explain your work later and answer skeptical questions, it means you did not deliver a whole product, a wholesome experience, per se. You only did the work, the commodity, the expectation. You are lagging, not leading, and that is a much harder position to come back from.
Better to stay ahead and paint the picture and keep anticipation and celebration part of your project management and customer service.
How can you communicate more frequently and with leadership in addition to delivering?