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Thread: I need help to listen carefully

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    I need help to listen carefully

    Hi
    Can you guys give me a suggestion on this. I had a customer phone about a proof I sent by email and they said the colour is wrong. I wrongly thought the colour used should be a different shade.
    What it was in some lines they wanted a different blue they have 3 different blues specified and the wrong blue was used in one line.
    So can anyone suggest how I can make sure I listen and ask the right questions to get to the right problem.
    I know listen carefully.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Document the questions that you should ask for each different type of service you render and keep it as a checklist.

    Also get the customers to specify Pantone, RGB or CMYK colours for each colour used.
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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    IanF I have had this same problem. So I started to make notes as we spoke on the phone. My next problem was I could not read the notes I had made, especially if I only looked at it at a later stage. So I now try to make neater notes and keywords as I speak to people on the phone and have to just accept that this happens as we get older.
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    Customers should sign off your proof before you commence. If the colour was wrong, then the customer on the proof should state this. You then generate a new proof to get it signed off.
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Hi Guys
    I like the idea of notes I will try that just make sure I read afterwards as my writing is terrible.
    For the colours we just bought the latest pantone charts only R5k but some of the new metallic colours are great especially the pinks and violets.
    I do get proofs signed off before printing and only reprints we have had are customer mistakes where we do the reprint cheaper to help them.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanF View Post
    Hi
    Can you guys give me a suggestion on this. I had a customer phone about a proof I sent by email and they said the colour is wrong. I wrongly thought the colour used should be a different shade.
    What it was in some lines they wanted a different blue they have 3 different blues specified and the wrong blue was used in one line.
    So can anyone suggest how I can make sure I listen and ask the right questions to get to the right problem.
    I know listen carefully.
    A very good afternoon to you Ian

    This can occur in any field!
    I would summarize the client's request and put it to the client i.e. If I understrand your instructions correctly, you want a final product with the following specifications.
    The client will then have to respond and if agreed, then there's simply no recourse for the client.
    Last edited by Vanash Naick; 30-Aug-13 at 03:44 PM. Reason: typo
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanF View Post
    So can anyone suggest how I can make sure I listen and ask the right questions to get to the right problem.
    Normally the best way to make sure you've "listened" properly is to repeat what you've been told back to them, but in your own words, or where it might be needed, broken down in detail.

    A classic example is taking an email address over the phone. When Iain Frazier says in words "ian dot fraser at mymail dot coza", don't answer "yes" as you're writing / typing it down. Go "so that's i a n dot..." and he'll respond "no, it's i a i n dot" and you'll catch the error straight way.

    Then even once you're done with all the bit-by-bit correcting, go over the whole thing again in one run to make absolutely sure.

    It's a powerful technique in two ways:
    * Any breakdown in understanding what the other person is trying to communicate is identified pretty quickly
    * You're far more likely to focus on the specifics of what they're saying when you know you're going to be regurgitating it back to them.

    EDIT: I see while I was typing, Vanash was also heading down similar lines.
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    I have made an appointment to see them on Monday and will try and get updated printing specs from them, it does boggle the mind however. On the last batch of cards I had to change Road in the address to Rd. this batch I had to change it back so I will try and convince them about consistency.
    Thanks for the great ideas.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    I can empathise with this problem Ian.

    We've made mistakes that have been our own fault and over time we've fine tuned the questions we ask and the process we follow. The tips already suggested are great though, so not much to add there.

    Just one thing on your point about consistency - clients will more often than not be more than willing to ask for revisions if they know it's not costing them anything. In our work (take logo design for example) we've followed instructions to the tee only to be taken in a different direction completely and then all the way back to square one again, with several revisions in between. We eventually decided that we give a logo design client 3 sets of changes as part of our package, after which it costs them our hourly design rate.

    It's helped a bit with the clients who simply can't make up their minds.
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    most modern computers especially laptops have build in video audio and have software you can use to record your conversations with. You also get applications for your smart phone that can record your conversation. Also you do get a recording device for your land line. Anyone or perhaps all of them can help you.
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