Change is not fun. Having just spent the past week helping my daughter move to Ohio for residency, I can say that emphatically. Between driving a U-haul through some mountains, putting together furniture (Ikea–clear instructions, but lots and lots of steps), activating services (and experiencing strange Internet problems), and making extra trips to the hardware store and Target; there was a lot going on.
None of this was really complicated–except the Internet problems which require someone to come out to her apartment to further troubleshoot. Alix (my daughter) is pretty organized and had list after list after list ready. My wife works hard and is a great organizer. I was just heavy labor and technical support.
As I get back to work after the week, I few things come to mind, with regard to change. As tech providers, some of these ideas may help you build confidence in your customers as you make the case for them making a change.
- Develop, and continually refine plans. Just the act of planning makes for less surprises.
- Expect issues and think about contingency plans. Most issues don’t happen in just one situation. It would be great to provide customers with a list of “Most Common Issues and How to Address Them” early in their planning cycle. They’ll appreciate it more than you can imagine.
- Get help. I did leave one part of the move story out. We hired two professional movers to help unload the truck. That saved us hours of effort–and frustration.
- Take a few deep breaths. There will be frustration and some yelling. Let it out, but remember that everyone is working toward the same end goal. Acknowledge and move on.
And most importantly, enjoy the end state. Alix’s apartment looks great. She’s in a great spot and ready to start her career.
Change, while not fun, usually is for the better. Helping people get through the challenges of change makes the overall experience more rewarding.
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