9 Essential Steps to Developing Satisfied Clients

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 08/17/15
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.

photo-1437936251057-dfbf79980ce5-2.jpgTo develop satisfied customers requires nothing less than becoming a trusted advisor to your client.

Here are the nine essential steps to follow to make that a reality: 

  1. Be responsive. When asked – respond. If you don’t have an answer, acknowledge the request and commit to finding an answer.

  2. Understand their business.  Understand what their primary drivers are and the purpose for the project. Knowing your client personally and what drives them personally is invaluable.

  3. Demonstrate the value that you bring. Clients often get hung up on your costs instead of your value, demonstrate value by showing how your projects beat industry standards or have saved client money.

  4. Check everything that leaves your office. Checking plans is obvious, but check schedules, invoices and correspondence (especially those generated electronically).

  5. Understand the causes for project failure. Understand why projects go awry, educate your clients and demonstrate that you not only understand the issues but have a solution.

  6. Go to the field. Projects are built in the field - not in the office.  Frequent field visits, with your client, will serve to alert you to potential expensive field changes – and give you some alone time with the client.

  7. Communicate. Regular formal progress reporting will serve many purposes including alerting the client to changes. Never let your client get blindsided!!

  8. Be business-like.  Being a professional means to pay attention to the business aspects of the project. Tactfully insist on prompt payment; tactfully identify change to the client and the affect on budget and schedule.

  9. Negotiate the scope, budget and schedule with the client.  A jointly developed or agreed upon scope with a work breakdown structure leading then to a budget and finally a schedule will avoid misunderstandings and disappointments. Change becomes apparent.

Keeping clients satisfied is crucial to all project management. Yet public works project managers not only need skills and the know-how to select the best consultants, negotiate scope, schedule and budget for government agencies, but they also need to deal with elected officials and the public in a very direct manner.

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