If you can, take your time in developing a solution. A number of studies have suggested that often, the second or third solution you come up with is best. When possible, suggest multiple solutions to the customer, saving the one you think will work best for last.
- Roy Barnes and Bob Kelleher, Customer Experience for Dummies
As we always seem to have more to do and less time to do it, it's very natural that we want to finish our tasks as quickly as possible. And when our task is trying to help a customer, it's even more understandable that we want to rush and get them a solution in the least amount of time. So when we suddenly think of a solution, it's incredibly tempting to jump right into action on it.
But as Barnes and Kelleher caution us, we might be shutting down our brainstorming too quickly. Coming up with one solution at lightning speed is good, but coming up with a better solution at a slightly slower pace is best. And it doesn't have to take much additional time. The key is just to keep your process going for a bit after the first idea.
Once you have a few potential answers, then you can present them to the client. GIving the client multiple options also works wonders for your customer satisfaction: it shows the customer you value his or her input, and it means your customer has buy-in to whatever solution is selected (making it much less likely that they'll have a negative response to it). A win-win for both sides!