When I was in year nine (ninth grade), I was a proud member of our debating team (third speaker—the argumentative one), and one debate still sticks in my mind. It was SJC vs. Dubbo High, and the topic was “Bad news is better than no news.” We were the affirmative.

Initially I was happy to argue the affirmative or negative as I could see some salient points on both sides, but once we started preparing, I knew we were on the right side. Many of the arguments we presented were based on how the human mind assumes the absolute worst when we don’t know. We talked about wartime events and the angst of a mother not knowing. We thought of finishing a school exam and wanting to know if you had topped the class. We even spoke of sport and how a swimmer looks immediately to the scoreboard. Once you find out the news, you can start dealing with it. When you are in unknown territory, the molehill turns into a mountain.

Client communication is no different. I like our staff to respond immediately to initial enquiries, and with ongoing work, I like constant communication. I have yet to hear a client complain about too much communication!

We recently picked up a new client simply because the client’s previous IT provider did not communicate with them. The IT provider visited the client’s site and was presented with a difficult problem. He returned to his office to research the problem further. After a week without hearing from him, the client rang the organisation and asked for a different technician. The manager explained that the first tech had spent many hours researching the problem, but the client had no way of knowing this and had lost confidence in that technician. After a second tech was sent on-site and the client had a similar experience, he gave up and called our organisation.

Two weeks after we rectified the problem, the original IT provider rang with the solution. They were shocked when they were told that the problem had been resolved. They had undertaken all the research—all for no reward and with the additional bonus of losing a client. All from a lack of communication!

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