Relationships Drive Business

Strengthening Customer Engagement to Propel Your Business

Showing the Love–Communication with Clients February 12, 2010

Filed under: Ideas — Carla Bobka @ 2:21 pm
Tags: , , ,

You’ve landed a great project with one of the firms most talked about clients. Now how do you make them love you as much as you love them? Let’s get your client talking about your firm as much as your’s is talking about them.

Here’s one idea: Communicate with them like they want you to.

Develop a statagy for communicating with each of your client stakeholders.  Some engagement Statements of Work lay out a communication plan, so you may have this part easy. If so, you have to comply. But there’s a catch. Chances are your main contact didn’t come up with that part of the SOW, Procurement did. So don’t move forward thinking it’s straight forward.  Be sure to ask each stakeholder how they prefer to communicate with you. During that conversation touch on the topics below:

  • process–what elements are they concerned with; are they visual-create a dashboard in Excel or use a Gant chart; are they tactical or strategic; how much detail will they digest; are they more interested in what was accomplished or what’s on deck
  • delivery tool and method–IM, email, phone call, voice mail-which phone number; Word doc, PPt slide, video clip
  • frequency–good news only, bad news only, weekly summary, when, which day, early or late

Keep in mind each stakeholder is different and you will need to adapt to each of them if you want to have impact with each of them. One size doesn’t fit all, ever. At least not by coincidence.  What does tool of choice accomplish for them and why did they pick it? Insight into that will tell you more about them that will help you down the road.

Don’t forget to ask your internal stakeholders the same questions. Think about whether your boss gives a progress report on the project in a meeting she attends. Is the update you’re giving her now enough to make her look good when questions come? Ask her.

Let me know what I’ve missed. How do you do it?