If you can’t say something nice…

19093545 I had dinner with some friends the other night and I arrived first.  After about 15 minutes of alone time, the waitress finally came over proceeded to tell me that they had over-filled her section and she was swamped.  I assume that she told me this to explain why she had not stopped by until now. 

We didn’t get great service as you might expect.  But we did get an extra helping of TMI!

Do you do this?  Do you share information with your customers or clients that they really don’t care to hear?  If you don’t, my guess is that your employees do.  They don’t mean to undermine your company – they’re just being friendly or trying to over-explain.  But the damage is done, none-the-less.

Here are some classic "over sharing" remarks that can really tarnish the way a client thinks of your organization:

"Yeah, he’s so forgetful.  (Or disorganized) But somehow, he always pulls the project through."

"We are so buried with work, I don’t know how we’ll get it all done."

"We’re always worried about machine #1.  It’s constantly breaking down."

"You’d never know it, but they really can’t stand each other.  It’s a wonder they can work on the same team."

You know the expression "ignorance is bliss?"  Your customers do not want to hear about your problems.  All is does is cause them to doubt your capabilities and wonder if perhaps your competitor has their act together more than you do.

I’m not advocating lying or even spinning the truth.  If there’s a problem on their project or product, by all means, tell them.  Full disclosure.

But do not air your internal dirty laundry.  Make sure you and your employees understand the difference.