How can I get information from customers when they feel we are infringing on the way they have always done things? How do I get them to see they need to share for the good of everyone?

The bottom line is that most customers do not like sharing information because they’re not sure how you will use it. So your job is to make them 100% comfortable and confident in how the information will be used as well as why it’s a value for them to share.

The worst way to get information from customers is to start by asking them questions. Most interaction I see people have with customers follows the typical pattern of a flat statement followed by a series of questions. It goes something like this: “We’re looking at a new way to process claims, so I need to ask you some questions. Do you process claims in batches?” Now with each question you ask them, they will answer hesitantly and rarely will they give you the complete information. Why? Because they don’t know how you’re going to use the information and they don’t want to have it come back to bite them.

The first thing you need to do is give them the complete roadmap of what you will be talking about and how it will benefit them.

Once you have given them this roadmap, that will give them the confidence to openly share information. If you ever feel a client isn’t sharing information, it’s telling you that they do not feel comfortable with how the information will be used. So as soon as you sense that, stop the conversation and paraphrase for them why you’re asking the question and how you will be utilizing their answers.