Recently I stumbled upon an idea from the folks at Fizzle that I’ve incorporated into my daily life. It’s a concept called “Unless I Hear Differently” (UIHD). The idea is to keep a project moving forward instead of halting progress waiting for a decision.
Basically, when faced with a problem, you think of possible solutions, and when you’re 60 to 70% sure you have a good solution, you say, “Unless I hear differently, I plan to [insert your plan of action].” Then proceed with your stated action. As Fizzle boasts, “There’s nothing to install or setup besides your own sense of responsibility and clarity about what’s next for each project.”
This works particularly well with teams or staff, but I’ve also considered how UIHD might be incorporated onto the retail floor.
How many times have you experienced this situation: You take a call from a customer looking for a particular book. You do not have it on your shelves, but it’s something that you can order rather easily. The customer hesitates and says, “Let me call one more store.” Do they call back and order the book? No. “One more store” got that order.
So I propose this… when the customer says, “Let me call one more store,” you reply with, “Okay. You keep looking. In the meantime, I’ll place that book on my next order. If you find it today, just call me back and I’ll cancel it. But unless I hear differently, you’ll at least be covered and the order will not be delayed.”
You’ve provided great customer service. Plan B is already in place.
Now, sometimes you’ll hear differently! But you are controlling the forward momentum of the project, problem, or book sale.