Changing anything in the way you do things typically scares clients because of the fear of the unknown. People hate change and not knowing how to do everything they want to do, but change isn’t something you can avoid just cause you’re unsure (see cheesy motivational quote above). Most people would prefer to stick to the way they’ve always done things, even if they can save some time and money switching to a different way just because that’s what they’re comfortable with. This is true with most humans, especially clients. They want to be as time efficient as possible, and the idea of new technology sounds like a threat. I found an article which talked about the top 4 ways to help introduce new technology without freaking your client out.
1. Keep it Simple. Customers are scared of change so you have to make the transition as quick and painless as possible. You don’t need to tell them every detail about the new technology or exactly what that means, just tell them what will affect them and they will more likely be calmer than if you bombard them with information and facts.
2. Be invaluable. Throughout the sales process add value at each interaction that will help ease their mind. Ways to be invaluable:
•Educating them about a better way to do things
•Sharing industry research
•Providing them with a case study
•Keeping the project on track
3. Always Align. Make sure that you’re in sync with your customer’s issues and needs. You have to be able to ask the right questions so you understand exactly what it is they’re looking for.
4. Raise Priorities. Keep this change at the forefront of their mind. Update them with any necessary changes, and keep them in the loop so they feel like they are included from the beginning of the transition.
These are all really good ways to make sure that your client understands the new technology, and more importantly, isn’t always calling you and freaking out asking questions and driving you crazy. Clients can be needy, but you have to keep in mind that you are the “expert” on this, and not them. That’s why you’re there; to tell them what they need and help them achieve it. In the digital media field, we know all too well how times are constantly changing and technology is changing with it. Once you get comfortable with the way that a program is set up, they go and change the format or add new things (@Adobe Creative Suite). Those new features are always awesome, but you have to put in the time to learn them for them to benefit you.
People want to feel included in these decisions (even if the decision has already been made), and if you make it seem like it will benefit them in the long run and you will help them through the transition, it will be more likely to be successful. Technical people can sometimes find it frustrating to try and explain what to them is easy and common knowledge, but is not something that we common folk necessarily know. Once they explain it it’s much easier, but we don’t all have the same knowledge extent that someone that works in IT probably has. It’s important to keep in mind who your client is and how much they know about the programs you’re using and try to explain it to them on a level that they will understand. Basically, all you have to do it make your client feel as comfortable and in control as possible.