“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” That is a quote from John F. Kennedy and I’m sure he would have made a pretty decent project manager. I don’t think we necessarily need to get that over the top, but I think it’s a good idea to always be thinking about something extra you could do for our project client. Don’t you? What better way to make them feel like you are there to provide them with the best service possible. Better yet, the best tailored service possible.
So what is something extra we can do for our project client today that will improve any of the following?
- Their confidence in our ability to successfully deliver on the project
- Their confidence that we are performing well as a project team
- Their understanding of where the project stands right now – knowledge helps alleviate concern and dissatisfaction
- Our understanding of their wants and needs
- Our knowledge of any concerns they may have right now about the project
This list could obviously go on and on….and on….
For that matter, the things we could do today – when you truly put your mind to it and depending on the project, industry and customer – could go on and on and on as well. But for the purpose of this article, and time, I will focus on four concepts…
Ask. Simply ask if there is anything you can do for them today. Ask if they have any concerns that need to be addressed. Ask if they want to see anything right now about the solution. It shows that you have nothing to hide and that you want them to be satisfied. They may not respond with any need or want, but they will remember that you asked. And ask again soon…make a habit of this.
Give them an adhoc status report. You already give them monthly or – hopefully – weekly status reports but give them one today. Especially if they have shown any concerns about the project, your team, or your ability to deliver. A revised status report and short discussion will help. It will definitely help!
Do an unscheduled demo. Customers like to know that the project delivery team is actually making progress. It’s one thing to hear about it and see it on a report. It’s another thing to see it in action. Give them a demo of the solution as it stands today if that is appropriate. Don’t make it a $5k deliverable either…do it now for free. Do it via a video conference. Make it easy, but impressive. They will like it and it will be worth it. Trust me.
Figure out something you can incorporate into the solution for free. Spend a few minutes and consider something that may be slightly outside of the project requirements that they may want and need and offer to provide it to them for free. Watch…they will be impressed and they will appreciate it. Don’t make it something that will break your bank…you still need to be profitable. But if you can do it quickly and it will mean something to the client, then do it. For free.
Summary / Call for Input
These are my frequent four that I try to use with project customers when I feel there needs to be a little “freshness” injected into the project. What are yours? Do you have any specific actions that you employ to help improve the customer relationship in a quick way? Please share and discuss.
About Brad Egeland
Brad Egeland is a Business Solution Designer and IT/PM consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management, and project management experience leading initiatives in Manufacturing, Government Contracting, Creative Design, Gaming and Hospitality, Retail Operations, Aviation and Airline, Pharmaceutical, Start-ups, Healthcare, Higher Education, Non-profit, High-Tech, Engineering and general IT. Brad is married, a father of 11, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV. Visit Brad’s site at https://www.bradegeland.com/.