Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005
Client satisfaction starts with meeting or beating the contractual obligations of the relationship. There are also some intangibles that can help you to over deliver to a client.
In most organizations it’s easy to deliver additional value around meetings, because statistically, most companies run meetings poorly. Capture important notes during your meetings and then deliver your neatly typed notes consistently with your client’s format. Not only will it allow you to capture the main ideas and benefit of important discussions, but it will almost always be appreciated by your client’s team members. Send this as soon after the meeting as possible.
Proactively help to define the agendas and outcomes for each meeting. Help keep things on track and try to meaningfully contribute towards these goals. Become highly proficient at running successful meetings.
If there are action items for other team members that are critical to your projects success, tactfully contact the team member and offer your help if it makes sense. Keeping the project on track internally helps you accomplish your goals as a consultant and you’ll be viewed favorably as a team player.
Delivering quality reports during your client engagement will enhance your image as a consultant because they’re so visible to the internal team members. In your earliest meeting possible get together with the client and define parameters for the report format and content. Every client has different needs so don’t assume that your template doesn’t need to change. Information important to one client is not interesting to another. Define up front what works and then deliver it.
As with the rest of your communications, a picture is worth a thousand words. You or your staff should become proficient at producing flow charts, Gantt charts, performance charts and architectural diagrams. Drawings in your report that communicate an abundance of information make it easy to use.
Perfect the art of the executive summary. For busy executives in the client organization, sometimes they’ll only want a one page summary. Make sure it communicates the key issues of the report. If they want more information, they’ll drill down.
Make it easy to contact you around the clock using email, phone, or mobile. The more you’re as accessible as internal team members the more you will be regarded as one. Have backup plans when you know you’re not going to be available. Proactively contact your clients letting them know if there will be a period of time they won’t be able to get a hold of you and give them some alternative options.
Our company focuses on profit engineered technology, that is, how we maximize the ROI on the technology we deploy. We pay attention to the business process, the costs of the process and try to achieve the best solution possible that will impact the bottom line for our client. And we’re also pretty good at communicating this to the client so they can appreciate our responsible efforts.
About the Author
Bryan Brandenburg has published 5 books as well as a number of articles both in print and on the internet. He has published almost 30 software programs both for consumers and business. More information can be found at (www.vmmg.net). firstname.lastname@example.org