Meeting client expectations is not always easy. Sometimes you have to deal with difficult and fickle clients. Dealing with these situations without proper strategies can lead to client disappointment, which can affect your business reputation. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to properly manage client expectations from the start.
1. Be honest about your business process
When meeting a client for the first time, you want to say good things about your business. That is normal. However, bragging too much or telling lies about your business will give you nothing but a bad reputation.
It’s best to explain to your client how the project will go from the very start. If there are things you can’t guarantee, then be honest about them. Telling your client about the things you can and cannot handle in the first place will make your work process easier.
In order for this plan to run smoothly, you need to prepare supporting tools. One of these tools is a case study. Showing the client how the previous project went will give them a picture of how your team works, how much time the project will take to complete, etc. Make sure you use a relevant case study so your client can relate to it.
2. Set objectives from the start
Just like your clients, you need to define your objectives from the start. This will help you figure out what is realistic and what is not. This will enable you to provide clear explanations to your clients more easily.
Having objectives can also help you direct client expectations to align with your scope of work. If last-ditch changes are requested, you can always redirect your client towards the original objectives.
3. Anticipate without making assumptions
Anticipating client expectations will make it easier for you to come up with the right answers to their questions later. However, make sure you don’t make assumptions at all. Instead, dig up as much information as possible by giving your client detailed questions.
4. Talk less and listen more
No matter how difficult your client is, remember to listen to them first. Do not interrupt them and give them time to explain their expectations. You can give your feedback after they’ve finished speaking.
5. Understand your client’s problems
When listening to client expectations, try to position yourself as them. No matter how difficult your client requests, try to understand the problem they are having. When you truly understand the client’s problem, it will be easier for you to find alternative solutions (if you’re unable to meet the client’s initial request).
6. Document your conversations with clients
It’s important to have proper documentation of any discussions or meetings with clients. You can use this documentation as a reference when a client changes their requests.
To help you manage documentation properly, you need the right CRM system. With HashMicro’s CRM system, you can store and update records of your conversations with clients digitally. Not only that, it sends automated messages to everyone involved in the project whenever there are any updates or changes done.
7. Provide progress reports regularly
Providing reports regularly will help clients know what your team is working on, how far the project is progressing, etc. This will help minimize client questions about the project progress. In addition, this will also help you keep your client’s requests from changing too far, because they have trust in you.