The idea that you are not your customer/client/patient is applicable to many parts of business, including proficiency with software and internet tools.
Yesterday I had a phone appointment with a large advertising provider of ours. I called the account manager’s phone number several times, with no luck. It turned out that she wasn’t flaking, but had sent an Outlook invitation with a special phone number and conference call number included. She also was taking the call in another part of the building so she wasn’t even able to pick up and let me know to use the conference line instead.
A recurring line from the crime boss in "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" is that "Assumption is the mother of all f— ups." It’s a constant refrain, because the hero keeps surviving because the criminal henchmen erroneously assume he’s out of the picture over the film.
Her assumptions were that I was familiar her way of setting up phone appointments.
My assumptions were that if there was a special line to call, that there would be instructions in our email back and forth, instead of in just the Outlook invitation, as well as that she’d be at her desk for the meeting.
On both of our ends, the assumptions we carried resulted in some issues.
We always have to operate under basic assumptions so we’re not always second-guessing. However, it pays to question whether your map of the world is a match with the patient or provider you’re dealing with and give detailed explanations when possible, especially in areas of technology where many are still catching up.