I’ve never quite understood a particular behavior when I’m working with outside vendors: Silence. Particularly when a project is nearing deadline.
I want to hear the good news, the bad news, and the no news. I want to hear solid facts, informed commentary, wild guesses, and off-the-wall opinions (although it helps if those are labeled as such). I want to hear everything, even at the risk of being flooded by information, because I can’t walk over and stand in the vendor’s cube to find out what’s going on like I can with people in my building.
In other words, I want to be able to plan and adjust my plans, or even just worry with the vendor if they don’t know what’s happening themselves. I’m an empathetic guy. I’ll understand, even if it means missing a deadline, if I can know about it beforehand. I’ll bet lots of customers would understand.
I know that may not be the experience of your average vendor. Maybe their other customers get bored, bothered, or yell at them. Too bad there isn’t a box on your average RFP for “how much we want to hear.” 😐