The secrets to happy clients

I have now worked in the world of technology for 15 years and I could argue that I’ve been part of it ever since I started programming on my Commodore Amiga, but that would just show my age. So in the 15 years of delivering various projects from document management systems to global eCommerce platforms I have encountered many clients.  And those clients range from a pool of sales girls to the Global omnichannel director, but nonetheless, all are clients and all need to be kept happy.

But why do we need to keep our clients happy?  They’ve asked for something, we’ve delivered it and we got paid!  For me the answer is obvious.  Happy clients equal more work and not just work from that client but work from people they talk to, people they meet at conferences or other departments in their organisation.  I once heard that for every ten bad experiences shared people only share one good experience.  So it’s not just about keeping them happy, it’s about being the one they tell the good story about, definitely not one of the ten bad stories they tell.

There are many differing views on how to keep your client happy and to be honest, different clients have different needs.  Some need you to show their manager that they chose the right people, others need you in order for them to get that promotion, some just want easier lives, better communication, more flexibility or more data.  The list can go on and on as it really depends on the reason for the project being commissioned.

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For me there are some simple things to do that will make sure you’re not one of the bad stories.

  1. Know what you are expected to deliver
  2. Understand the clients’ world
  3. Keep the client informed
  4. Don’t surprise them
  5. Don’t under deliver (Over delivering a little at a maximum)
  6. Pay attention to what stresses them out and avoid it
  7. Have a plan for when things don’t run smooth
  8. Deliver quality
  9. Make sure they know how it works
  10. Check in regularly after delivery

Although for me all of the above should be in the arsenal of a good delivery expert, there is one main thing you need to do in order to keep your client happy, deliver.  Deliver what you said you would, when you said you would, to the quality agreed and have proof that it’s had the desired affect or change.

It’s not really a secret formula to keep your clients happy, it’s plain and simple. But as someone once told me, making things look simple takes a lot of hard work, if you get it right, then you’ll have more work and now and again you will be the star of that good story.

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