Your aim is to impress your clients with stellar service. How do you do that? By delivering high-quality work. You meet your deadlines. Maybe you even provide some company swag every now and then.
But, when it comes to really forging positive client relationships, you know it all comes back to one thing: your client communication skills.
Communication is key, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Fortunately, we’ve pulled together this guide to help you keep your clients informed and happy.
Who communicates with clients within projects?
When you’re completing projects for your clients, you need somebody to serve as the bridge between the internal project team and the end client.
In most cases, that’s handled by a role called a “client project manager.” This role might be filled by the actual project manager, or it can be broken out into an entirely separate position.
This person will communicate with the client about their expectations and feedback and then relay that information to the project team. This position can have different names depending on the organization, such as an “account manager” or even a “relationship manager.”
Client communication best practices for project managers
Regardless of who fills that role, it’s important that they know how to communicate with clients successfully.
Poor communication is one of the biggest reasons why projects fail, and that doesn’t just apply to communication within the project team — communication with your clients is just as (if not more) important.
But, what do project managers need to know about how to communicate with a client successfully? Here are five tips to keep in mind.
1. Keep communication centralized
We spend a ton of time communicating. Research from McKinsey estimates that the average worker spends an estimated 28% of their workweek managing email alone.
When you work in professional services, your goal is to make your clients’ lives easier, not add stress and obligations to their plates.
What does this mean for you? You need to keep communication centralized and streamlined. All of your notes, status updates, files, decisions, and more should live in one place, so that clients can find what they need without wasting time digging for it in endless email threads or comments.
There are plenty of project management and client communication tools that make it easy to store all of that information and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
2. Give them a point person
You’ve likely heard the “too many cooks in the kitchen” cliché, and that can cause unnecessary confusion for your clients.
They should have one point of contact (this should be the client project manager) to approach with questions, concerns, feedback, and more.
Not only does this instill confidence in your clients and enable them to build a solid relationship with someone on your internal team, but it also helps to keep things organized on your side. You don’t need to worry about mixed messages or dropped balls, because you only have one person receiving input from your client.
3. Skip the industry jargon
Your clients likely hired you because they don’t have a lot of expertise or knowledge in your focus area. That means they aren’t going to be familiar with a lot of the industry lingo or acronyms that are common knowledge for you.
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