When taking a project you don’t always have the ability to choose who is going to be your point of contact, the person responsible for the completion of the project on the customer side. In most of the cases that person is probably less knowledgeable about technology – that is the moment you step into to help.
The customer needs to trust you that you will be in charge of handling all the technical difficulties that come on the way. And that is great, because exactly you and your coworkers are experts in these areas.
During a project, a manager, project/product owner or any other title that corresponds to the person in charge, must be extremely detail-oriented, and the precision in describing some of the project requirements is crucial.
But, what are the things that are presented to the customer? What kind of report do you need to provide? This can be quite challenging – finding the right level of detail to communicate to the customer.
Some of you clients will be pretty much tech savvy, and they will be involved more in the course of the project. On the other hand, for those who are not knowledgeable about IT – you need to prepare a different approach for them.
1. Find some humility
Whoever that person is – do not talk down to him/her. It is your job to present them the information in layman’s terms. Investing time and effort in education of your clients brings returns in the form of more efficient work cycles and better products.
2. Talk about people and actions
Sometimes you will have to use metaphors, define the terms at the beginning of project and/or each phase, but you are the person who is going to make them more aware of the amount of the work that is done, so patience is very much required.
Do not use the vocabulary of an IT expert and brag about your extensive knowledge, talk about the outcomes of that expertise which is beneficial for the client.
3. Give examples
Explain each part of the project by giving an example if you can.
It is much easier for the customer to correlate to some well-known issues that they came across earlier.
4. Detailed and formatted email body
Also, when communicating via email, be sure to format it in a way to allow your clients to focus on the most important parts of it. Point out the most relevant issues that have been completed, state the amount of time that is left, explain the benefits of the project approach you have chosen, etc.
5. The value in front of the solution
Remember – you have to make a moment with your customer that will build trust. A moment in which you will present to him the positive impact your solution will have on his business - think like a business owner and focus more on the storytelling and selling the value and not the IT background of your solution.
As you go down the project timeline, there mustn’t be anything left behind – everything needs to be done according to the plan that is presented to the customer.
If you respect your plan, and keep yourself and your team organized throughout the project – your customer will be more than happy to recommend you for the services you provide.