Three Tips for Maintaining Customer Confidence
The confidence that your customer has in you means almost everything to maintaining a positive relationship (and garnering future sales) so it’s critical that you and your project team do your best to keep that confidence as high as possible. This week I’m going to talk about some simple ways that you can keep that confidence high and limit the amount of escalation phone calls with your boss.
I have yet to see a customer complain about being told too much about their project. Often times as project managers, we are privy to so much information about our projects that it becomes somewhat second nature to us. With that there is the chance that we may take some pieces of information for granted and assume our customers know everything there is to know about their project around risks, issues and progress. It’s easy to fall into that trap and we as project managers can often overlook small but critical pieces of information that, when held back from the customer can be incredibly damaging to the confidence they have in your ability to deliver. If you find yourself in a crisis mode or in a position where confidence is starting to wane, always resort to over-communicating. I’m not suggesting cc the customer on ever single email but make sure that they feel they are getting all the information in a very timely manner.
Follow Through on Commitments
Nothing will shatter confidence more than a missed delivery. As a vendor, you need to stick to your commitments – that’s why you were hired in the first place. A big part of maintaining that confidence is by proving your ability to deliver time and time again. Customers love reliability and stability. They want a partner who can prove repeatedly that they can deliver what they promise. If you’re in a position where you are having to repair a damaged relationship with a customer, it’s ok to have smaller, more multiple deliveries. In a lot of cases that might prove to be more effective at building confidence up as the customer sees multiple follow-through of commitments made by your team.
Listen and Understand
More often than not, customers who abandon their vendors feel that they were not listened to or had their needs fully understood. As a project manager and the face of your organization for the customer it’s critical that you take the time to listen to what the customer has to say, understand their concerns and ensure that they feel heard and that your plan addresses their concerns. Often times when a customer feels that a slipping vendor truly understands the problems and concerns it alleviates a significant amount of distrust and helps to restore confidence in the vendor’s ability to deliver.
Maintaining the confidence of your customer is an underrated component of being a good project manager. There are so many things that can quickly erode a customer’s trust and confidence in your project team and organization but when you sense that confidence starting to slide, look to the three tips here and that will put you on the path back to restoring that customer’s faith in your ability to deliver.
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