Listening to, clearly identifying, then meeting client expectations, can be a gruelling task. There is a fine line between going above and beyond to please your clients, and getting taken advantage of. However, effectively managing your clients’ expectations is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship and ensuring there are no surprises in the deliverables. Whether you’re solo, a large firm, or a small team, here are a few characteristics that allow one to successfully manage their client’s expectations.
Some common characteristics of good project managers allow them to successfully communicate and manage their clients. Examples include:
Breaking the ice and getting to know your client personally can allow you to identify certain expectations without the need for you to explicitly ask and can make the client feel listened to. Understanding their business can mould the way you handle certain situations and present your work.
For example, you can demonstrate credibility by sharing prior work, you can foster trust with the client, paving the way to greater advocacy, loyalty, and engagement.
Always try and put yourselves in the client’s shoes and gauge what they might want before they even ask. This can streamline processes and even make the client feel special.
By keeping clients informed you keep the spotlight on them. This demonstrates that you value them as a client and that you will do what is necessary to keep them.
It is important that a PM take the first step in initiating the majority of interactions with the client. This can be via brief email updates, regular phone calls, meeting schedules and informing the clients that you’re being proactive.
This important yet brief list of characteristics only scratches the surfaces of what you’ll learn in PSMJ AP’s Project Management Essentials – Design learning program. It provides architects, engineers and other built environment design professionals with the practical tools needed to achieve successful outcomes in all aspects of project management.
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