WHAT IS CLIENT MANAGEMENT?
Client management is the method of managing the relationship between an organization/establishment and its client base, regardless of the industry. Client management takes responsibility for all aspects of the working relationship between clients and the establishment to ensure the highest quality in terms of output and client satisfaction. Client management borders around improving project experience, reducing stress for the client, exceeding expectations, and simplifying the process. It emphasizes fostering excellent client relationships and places the client first.
CLIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A client management system seeks to manage the education, care, and support of the client to assist them in reaching their defined goal, ensuring that they feel valued and have a pleasant experience working with you. Managing clients requires personal connections, transparency, empathy, patience, enthusiasm, flexibility, and ultimately continuous communication to build trust and help clients feel comfortable and confident in working with you throughout the project.
A project management system seeks to manage the ideation, planning, organization, and completion of a project with a defined goal, ensuring that the project is appropriately executed, delivered on time, and within the required budget. Managing a project requires strategic thinking, cautious planning, thorough implementation, and effective communication so organizations can maintain the project’s course, hit milestones, manage expectations, manage scope changes, reasonable objections, and effectively troubleshoot problems. Project management borders on improving the project experience, streamlining the workflow, protecting profitability, and reducing stress for the organization. It emphasizes the work to be done and puts the agency first.
While client management places the client first and seeks to foster all-round client satisfaction, project management focuses mainly on the task and sets the organization first. Ultimately, an organization needs project management and client management systems in place to ensure lasting success and viability. A combination of these two systems provides the clients with the competence and expertise demonstrated through management systems and the support shown by client management systems.
Most organizations focus on project management because it projects the integrity of their work, their time, and their bottom line. These organizations invest large amounts of time and resources in evaluating project management software solutions that track time, setup project templates and checklists, and automate tasks. While investing in project management solutions to foster growth is essential to an organization, the whole approach and process will be futile if there if the relationship between a client isn’t adequately worked on. A project is considered as completed when it is done on time and within the minimum budget requirement. Rendering a service should not be entirely about delivering a completed project on time, and within budget, it should also be about building trust, nurturing relationships, and anticipating needs.
To bridge this gap, it is crucial to integrate project management systems and client management system into your team’s processes. Client management is about making the client feel good about their decision to hire you, and guiding them through the process, so they are comfortable and satisfied. When you integrate this system into your team, the project runs smoother, and the project management made more convenient because there are fewer distractions, obstacles are moderated early on, and the client trusts you more. Involving a client in the entire process of their project will create less friction between the project manager and the client.
It is essential to prevent clients from thinking that their project is mismanaged due to miscommunication on the part of the project manager. To ensure that the customer isn’t left behind in the project, it is vital to involve them in the projects from the very start actively. Here are some practical tips to get your clients involved:
Let Your Clients in on Your Plans: To get a client on board is to bring them to date with whatever plans you and the team have come up with. As a project manager, you are already equipped with a detailed project plan that caters to the entire project. Since that project plan may be too complicated for the client, it is essential to create a document that will show them what is happening, when it is happening, and the projected completion date. The point of this is to educate the client of the many steps involved in their project, and this transparency helps them build trust in you from the beginning.
Build Communication: communication seems to be an over flogged topic in the project, but this is not the last you will hear of it as it is the core driver of success. Effective communication is critical in managing client relationships. It’s left to the client whether you notify them about every task or just the milestones, but nothing is gained by withholding the delivery of information. Keeping the client in the dark for whatever reason is the worst thing you can do to a client. Different clients prefer different means of sharing information, as a project manager, it pays not to force yours on them. Project management systems like Planless supports integration with Google Drive, GitHub, Dropbox, Slack, etc.
Involve The Clients in Selected Team Projects: most clients do not mind actively participating in some phases of a project. Involving the client in teams where the client’s knowledge can be an added value to the team discussions and activities fosters both to the success of the team and the satisfaction of the client. Planless provides PM’s with a client/partner access; this offers your clients simple viewer access to the projects they need to be involved in and offer them a firsthand view of what is happening. The inclusion of the client in project teams may have excessive influence on project decisions, but this is balanced by the insights the client can offer when knowledge is needed, or schedules need to be changed.
Keep a Paper Trail: Every project needs documentation and a sign-off. As a PM, it is imperative to have proof that a project was completed satisfactorily for the party concerned. These documents should be archived and stored on a platform accessible by both manager and client, like project management software with file storage. Everyone can access them if changes are made, and there will be no misunderstandings because everything is outlined and shared.
The advantage of involving a client in their project is to advance the client’s investment in the plan, to create a clear understanding for the client of the problems the project encounters during the life cycle of the project, and to gain the contributions of the client in problem-solving. Planless makes it easy for project managers to include clients in discussions and other relevant communications, closing the gap between project teams and external stakeholders.