Having the client on your side is a prerequisite for project success. Gain their trust by meeting the following 6 expectations.
6 Things your Project Client expects from youTimo Gerhardt, Tuesday 11 October 2022 | Reading time: 7 min.
The importance of the client in the project
The client is the person or organization that should be your focus throughout the project. The success of your project is not only determined by objective criteria, but more importantly by the subjective assessment of the client. If they are dissatisfied with the result of the project and their expectations have not been met, you can consider the project a failure. It does not matter which specifications were ultimately met or how the project team itself evaluates the result. Creating added value for the client is the top priority.
How your client evaluates the finished project does not only depend on the result itself. Throughout the course of the project the interactions between project team and client should facilitate a trusting relationship. This is the groundwork for ensuring a client that is satisfied by the end results of the project and happy to bring more business your way in the future.
In order to be able to shine not only with the project result, but also beforehand, you should pay attention to some important aspects. In the following, we explain six expectations that clients have for their contractors.
- Personal benefits
- Benefits for the organization
- Strong foundation of trust
- Demonstration of skills
- Great commitment
In most cases, clients are individuals who hire service providers on behalf of and in the interest of a company. Even though the successful completion of a contracted-out project benefits the company, the individual responsible for it will have a personal interest in the project outcome as well.
The personal expectations may be a salary increase, a bonus, a career boost, or simply recognition within the company.
When taking on the project, you should therefore always keep in mind that there are personal goals being pursued. With this knowledge, you can bring about a higher level of commitment and consequently achieve a better result.
The benefits for the organization itself are the reason why the project is undertaken in the first place. They may be to improve processes and automation, thereby enabling employees to allocate their time more efficiently.
Even though these are apparent on the client side, otherwise the project would not have come about, after all you should always emphasize these benefits in the course of the project and also point out advantages that were not apparent to the company before.
It is important for the client to be able to trust the contractor. Depending on the project, very sensitive data is transferred. Careful and secure handling of this data is an absolute prerequisite for cooperation. Failure to do so can result in enormous damages for the client and will most likely result in the termination of the contract and any further cooperation.
Be a competent partner in dealing with data from the very first contact. Disclose your guidelines for handling data and assure your clients of the safekeeping of sensitive information in accordance with current data protection regulations.
Risks should be excluded as far as possible - this is also the motto of clients. However, outsourcing a project is always a risk. There is no such thing as guaranteed project success, no matter how competent you think your partner is.
It is therefore up to you to reduce the perceived risk for the client. To do this, for example, the overall goal can be broken down into smaller goals that ultimately appear more tangible and easier to achieve. Explaining a detailed project plan is helpful. If you are very confident in your abilities and want to embody an uncompromising customer orientation, you can also resort to more drastic measures, such as a money-back guarantee if a project fails.
Whether a potential client chooses you at all and how they ultimately evaluate the project result depends heavily on how competent and capable they consider you to be as a project manager and your project team. Demonstrate that the project is in good hands with you. Make it clear that you have the skills needed for the project in your team. If this is not the case, stay honest! A perfect team that combines all relevant skills does not exist. It is better to make it clear to the client that you have competent partners for certain tasks, to whom you outsource tasks.
The skills that a client expects from a contractor are both project-specific and universal. Universal skills are skills that are needed in every project. They range from planning, to risk management, to budgeting, and leadership skills. If you are unsure whether the client considers you to be fully competent in this regard, the easiest thing to do is to actively ask. If the latter openly expresses concerns, it is easy to address them.
The easiest way to convince others of your abilities is to provide references. Use testimonials to show which skills other customers attribute to you.
A good service provider treats their customer's problems as their own. Accordingly, the contractor is expected to be extremely committed to the project. If the client senses a lack of commitment, they will not be completely satisfied even if the project is completed successfully. After all, if there had been a higher level of commitment, there may have been a higher output.
If the contractor finds intrinsic motivation, it becomes moot to regularly monitor the project team and progress and conduct repeated briefings. All parties are interested in achieving the best possible result and ultimately share a common vision.
InLoox's project management solution allows you to easily involve stakeholders in the project and thus achieve higher satisfaction among them.