How to improve client communication
Project management is more than just managing tasks and establishing timelines. Clients are important too.
It can be stressful to manage client relationships and projects simultaneously. It is possible to ease the pressure by communicating with clients effectively and set yourself up for success.
Communication with clients is crucial for project managers
Effective communication with clients is a key ingredient for any project’s success. This is not the only perk.
You can also communicate effectively with clients to:
Understanding the client’s perspective is key to building a shared vocabulary
Align project timelines and budgets with client expectations
Keep everyone informed about the status of the project
Let’s take a look at some simple strategies that you can use to communicate with your clients better.
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Good client communication boils down to managing expectations. Here are some easy ways to communicate clearly with clients and improve your communication skills.
Ask questions: Questions are a powerful tool that you can use to make sure you and your client are always on the same page. No matter how silly or simple the question may seem, don’t be afraid of asking questions. It shows that you care about your client’s input and the project’s outcome.
Present your project plan. A good plan communicates who, what and why. It is a good idea to review it with your client so that you can have a discussion about the details and set clear expectations before the project begins. It can also be used as a resource for any questions or concerns once a project is launched.
Standardize communication methods for project: Details can be overlooked if everyone uses a different method to communicate about a particular project. This can be avoided by working with your client on how and when information will be communicated. For example, project status may be communicated weekly by email, while risks and issues can be discussed in face to face meetings.
Introduce your client to communication tools. Communication and project management tools promote collaboration and allow you to record conversations. TeamGantt’s online gantt chart software makes it easy to share project updates, and keep all of your discussions and files in one place.
Establish a consistent communication schedule: Although it may sound boring, being predictable can help calm client anxiety about the progress of a project. Your client will be less likely to request random updates if they know they will receive a status report on Thursday morning.
Establish an agenda: An agenda outlines the goals and expectations for the meeting. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and outline assignments for agenda items in advance so everyone is prepared for a productive meeting.
5 easy tips for client communication
You must go beyond the practical to become a communication star. Communicating well is all about connecting with people. Make sure to put your personal skills to good use!
These 5 tips will help you build a better relationship with clients
Empathize with your client. It is easy to get caught up in the details and forget that your client is a person with their own fears and pressures. It’s important to take the time to understand and acknowledge your client’s perspective. This will help you diffuse difficult conversations and reassure them that you are there for their best interests.