In continuation of my Customer Expectation Series I want to focus for a very short time on Outbound communications. (I promise this is a short article)
I am a strong believer in the idea that what works in one arena works in another. For example, the same practices that are successful with a customer will be successful with employees. To be more specific if we communicate as much internally as we do with a client (or vice-versa) it will only increase the probable success of a project.
This leads me to our new car. We recently purchased a used car from a broker. Now when you first decide to buy a car everything is exciting and everyone is happy (Honeymoon phase). But as we progress through the process and more specifically, after you give them a check, then the communication is a little more scarce. Promises are made and perhaps not followed up on. Sound familiar?
The same things hold true with any project. The more that we (the agency or developer) communicate with the client, the more everyone will be in tune with what is happening. This is Project Management 101. Communication is King and it is up to us as project leaders to communicate with the client often. When was the last time a client said to you, please don't call me so often?
This is not to say that you should call your client every hour, but you should decide on key check-ins. For example, during your ramp up phase when it is critical to collect data, it is good to check in every day. During the build phase, you can move to once a week and finally prior to launch go back to every day.
The idea is simple. You as the project manager need to initiate the call and you need to do this more than you think is necessary. (Unless you have already read my articles or the client files a restraining order)