This is the first of series of short articles based on the idea of client management and they are insights from the client’s perspective. They refer to a construction environment but you can take these principles and apply them to any service based industry to improve your processes, relationships and overall delivery.
Not all clients are perfect. We know that. But they are paying the bills and using these techniques will only improve the perception of your business and your relationships.
#1 Be organized, look organized.
There’s nothing worse than a false start. All lined up, prepared ready to go. STOP! Do it all again.
I’ve seen this in a construction environment again and again. Contracts are lagging behind, the schedule stops for nobody, we have XXX turning up at site tomorrow. No information has been provided.
The client site team says "Do they even have a plan of what they’re going to do?? Let alone responsible and to high quality...."
And when you’ve had a signed contract provided one day before it’s hard to blame you.
But let’s wind this back a little.
It’s never productive to start a job by reminding the client how disorganized THEY are.
What you want to do is be absolutely prepared so that when your people whistle their way through the front gate, they are ready to go in every way. Bullet proof. Just induct them and they’ll deliver. Without headache. Make sure your systems are up to date and functional (Including ISO systems required by bigger companies). Make sure you have considered your risks.
Get everything in place. You do run the risk of the client backing out at 11:59 but if you’re managing your business risk well and you are focusing on your people skills, this is minimal exposure for the big win.
Large machines with lots of moving parts can be slow sometimes. Don’t be afraid to take the high ground and use your agility to take your client’s pain away. They’ll thank you for it, and so will your accountant.