Client Management 3: Keep Your Clients Up to Date

June 19, 2015
In this video, we talk about the best ways in which to communicate with your clients as well as some tools that can help make communication a non-issue. FREE Project Management EBOOK for new project managers. DOWNLOAD HERE: http://www.easyprojects.net/ebook/ Don't forget to check out our Blog on project management to learn more: http://www.easyprojects.net/blog/ ______________________ Transcript: Hey there, and welcome to the Easy Projects “Project Management Made Easy” Video Series. I’m Ash, and I’m here to help you learn all about project management. Today we’re going to get into the best ways in which to keep your clients up to date. Last session, we covered the client approval phases. While these occasions are important, they shouldn’t be the only time you communicate with the client. Many project management programs generate reports out of the box. This feature isn’t just a marketing gimmick—they can help you and your client develop a true partnership for a better project. Have you ever had a client react badly when something went wrong? I’ll bet a large part of that anger is because they were surprised. Surprised, because they were not told anything. If you send the client regular (and more importantly, truthful) reports from the start, they will be more aware of potential problems and may be able to help you intercept them before they grow too big. An informed client can make more intelligent decisions and be of bigger help during a crisis. It also saves time, because they will already have a background on the situation and need less of a brief. If the client reads their reports at all, they’ll see just how much effort you and your team are putting into the project. They may know it in the backs of their minds, but having documented confirmation will cement the trust between them and your team—trust that you’re working the best you can to help And who wouldn’t be happy with that kind of attention? Clients know just how rare and valuable it is to have a PMO that is honest, open, and regular with their communications. So what types of reports should I be sending the clients? The short, vague answer is “it depends on your workflow.” What does the client need to see? What information would they find most valuable? In case you have trouble deciding, let me list down a few common ones: Project Schedule – The client might have their own copy of the project calendar, but they’re not the ones updating every time a change happens. You could remedy this by sending updated project calendars every time they change. (EP Project Schedule) Task reports – if you don’t mind being a bit more transparent, you can send over task reports so that the client can see exactly what’s going on in real-time. This is basically a list of completed tasks for the reporting period. Some project management tools even let the client post on message boards and comment on uploaded files. Billing reports – the client will want to know how much the project is costing them. If you employ good billing practices, you might even be able to predict additional charges yourself. Here, you can show them time logs if you support that level of transparency. The best way to keep your clients up to date and to be as transparent as possible is to give them access to live data if you have that as an option. If not, consistent updates about what matters most to the client, will do just fine.
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