5 Tips to Managing Clients Expectations
May 23rd, 2017 in Project Management
Successful client management lies at the center of a healthy and a profitable business. Too often businesses find themselves in a position where a project is successfully completed and in return the client is unhappy and not satisfied. More often than not this is the result of the gap between your and the client’s expectation of the project. Here are some tips that will help you better manage the client expectations and get them on the same page.
If I had to pick one of these points to be the most important one of them all, it would be this one. When you are running a project/service based business of any kind, this is your bread and butter. Communicate frequently, deliver clear details, that will keep the client up-to-date on what is being worked on and what’s next. This will ensure that everyone stays on the same page throughout the project. When communication between both parties is transparent, trust forms and it helps create a long-lasting relationship.
Create a detailed Project Plan
Creating a detailed Project Plan with timelines, goals, strategy and then agreeing to it with the client ensures that both parties understand how the success of the project will be measured. At any given times client should be able to point to the status of the project, this is achievable if a detailed planned for the project is put in place.
The plan will also help manage expectations because all deliverables and their timelines should be laid out in the plan before the start of the project.
Listening is the most subtle tool that can be used to manage clients expectation, just take a breather and listen to what they are saying and what they are expecting from you. Too many people make the mistake of talking about what they can do and they oversell and neglect to listen and understand the requirements of the client. This causes there to be a gap between your understanding of expectations and theirs. So listen.
Be upfront if plan changes
During projects, plan changes happen and it is your responsibility to be upfront with the client. Explain to them how changes in the plan will affect timelines, strategy and if it is going to cost extra. There are times when a plan has to change because of certain requests from the client. Before acting on those request you should put in front of them the impact on existing timeline and costs it may cause. This will give them all the information they need to rethink their request and if they decide to proceed with it, they will know how it will impact the existing timelines and adjust their expectations.
Get it all in Writing
Before you start any project you need to put it all in writing, not just the major points also things that you might think are obvious. This will protect you against scoop creep down the road and help you set expectations from the get-go.
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