As a project manager you definitely wear a lot of hats.
As if the daily juggle of keeping your project on target, on budget and on spec isn’t enough, you also have a client to keep in the happy corner. It really doesn’t matter if you tick all the other boxes, if your client doesn’t feel looked after, you project is not in the green.
In its essence, this is a discussion of Client Management. Strictly speaking, project management is not seen as a Service, but it definitely is part of the job description of a project manager. Client or Customer satisfaction is never to be neglected.
What is it clients want from you as a project manager?
It all starts with being a good listener. What is it the client wants? After all, there is no getting the project outlines right, unless you nail your understanding of client expectation. Keep asking the questions until you get what the KPI’s are.
But as the project goes on, clients also expect to be kept in the loop. Getting the frequency of communication right is definitely a balancing act and it will be different from client to client. No client wants to be drowned in details, but at the same time they also don’t want to feel as if they are an afterthought or that things are happening behind their backs.
- Give your client clear expectations about what is going to happen from the get-go. A roadmap in some form or measure is always a good idea.
- Share progress. Are things going according to plan or is there need for adjustments? Nobody likes having to communicate that there have been a few hick-ups, but a client that is kept in the dark and finds out later on, is really not going to cheer you on.
- Be responsive. If a client tries to contact you, don’t make them leave 7 different voice messages before you decide to return the call 3 days later.
Which leads us to the next question…
How do you tackle client management in the most time efficient and professional way?
The last thing you want is getting even more emails and phone calls or having to spend precious time attending another meeting that is distracting you from getting the actual job done.
- Giving your client access to your project management tool allows them to access the information they want without having to bother you. A good project management software allows you to set the level of access clients can have. Show them how to read a Gantt Chart and it will give them just the level of information they are after.
- Very few projects encounter no changes at all, often because of the client changing the scope. Giving clients access to the Gantt Chart will make them realise the fall-out of their changes to the timeline of a project.
- Use the Detailed Projects Report to keep clients updated on the progress of your project. It is designed with that purpose in mind.
- Use the messaging feature in your Project management tool. It keeps all the information centralized and accessible to all those that need it. You can even attach files.
- Clients worry about the security of their data. Using the communication features incorporated in your project management tool, avoids the risk involved with sensitive data that is sent by email.
Want to learn more about how your Project management tool helps streamline communication with your clients and keep them happy? Just sign up for a Free Trial or talk to one of our friendly ProWorkflow staff.