The relationship between a project team and their customers should be healthy and positive, regardless of whether they are internal or external customers. This relationship can fall apart at times, but by sticking to these ideas, you will keep your clients sweet all the way through the process.
Listen to Their Needs and Requests
It is very easy for project team members to see what they think is wrong and impose their own vision of how to fix it. This may solve the issues from a technical point of view, but what if it doesn’t make the people who will use the process or system feel any better about it? Maybe they want something that you don’t see as being essential but that would make their lives easier in some way.
Those who know best what is needed from a user’s point of view are the real-life users. The only major problem here would be if their needs clash with what the project team want to do, or can do. In this case, both sides would need to get together to discuss the reasons for this and what could be done about it.
Get Them Involved During the Process
The customer input doesn’t have to end with their list of needs and requests that we looked at earlier. By using the Agile methodology, you can make sure that your customers are involved every step of the way. By arranging PRINCE2 Course training for your project team, you will get them ready to work in this way in next to no time.
People can get nervous if they see a group of project workers silently working away on something that deeply affects them. It is human nature that they worry whether something unsuitable will be imposed on without their input. Most teams will be happy to get involved in some way, even if it is just a question of seeing what is being done and what progress is being made.
Keep Up Good Communication
Keeping your customer in the loop is vital if they are going to feel happy and positive about what you are doing for them. Therefore, one of the areas to consider fully at the start of any new project is the communication strategy that you are going to use.
This refers to the internal communication with your own team and also the way you communicate with your customers. You will want to come to an agreement at the very start about how often they want to be informed of changes and given updates. A mixture of infrequent face-to-face meetings and more regular written updates may be enough to keep them satisfied without taking up too much of your team’s time.
Go the Extra Mile with Your Solutions
Your customers will realise if you are going the extra mile to give them what they really need, or just doing the bare minimum to get the job done. In fact, if you can give them something that is better than what they expect then so much the better.
The end of project review is when you will find out officially what they think of your work. However, you should have a good enough relationship with your clients that you are aware all the way through how satisfied they are. If they aren’t happy at how things are going, you should consider getting them back onside as being a crucial part of your role.
By sticking to these fairly simple ideas, you will be encouraging a healthy working relationship that helps the project to go ahead more smoothly and keep everyone happier from start to finish.
This article cannot be re-published without permission.