Client/Customer Engagement or Experience in Project Management
"Good customer service costs less than bad customer service." – Quote by Sally Gronow
The above statement is so true when it comes to project management. The clients are our raison d’être (the reason for existence) of any firm or a business. As we repeat ad nauseum, “the customer is king”. This clichéd Adage holds water in the maze of the project management domain as well. In the domain of project management, it is the project manager as the key man who is the link between the client/customer during the project (right from conceptualization to execution). In this post, we shall look at the strong bond of Client/Customer Engagement or Experience in Project Management courtesy the project manager.
The constant interaction with the client gives the clients a greater understanding of the project management processes, it pains points and challenges.
The project manager acts as a conduit for client feedback at every step of the process, keeping them in the loop and thus avoiding failure once the project is over and god forbid the client does not like the end result. Feedback is a great way to improve the overall customer experience. The feedback can be channeled back into making improvements in the project and creating a product acceptable to the client.
The project manager is the link between the project team and the customer and it is he/she who can mar or make customer engagement. The PM can smoothen the creases, sort out issues, find solutions, and act as a really good bridge. For example, if there are any disputes between the client and the accounts department over-invoicing issues. The PM can step in and sort it out before it escalates and mars the client's experience with the firm.
The project manager provides regular and timely updates in various forms to the clients about the project progress which is great for the client experience. It keeps them abreast of all developments, makes them feel heard, and that they are valued at every stage of the partnership.
Project manager Shamik Sengupta feels that besides being good in technical and organizational skills, communication and soft skills are as important in project management especially when dealing with customers from varied backgrounds and expectations. The project manager has to put the best foot forward at all times to ensure a great customer engagement whether on the phone, person, email, or text. He says “As a project manager, I am also playing the role of a customer service person, a firefighter, a counselor, so many roles in one to keep customers happy at all times”.
As we can see from the above, the project manager is the face of the company and the project when it comes to client interaction and customer engagement. They are the one-stop person for all purposes for clients to discuss all issues, challenges, and points. Keeping the customer happy throughout the project stages is important as they will act as public relations agents for you in the future and be your referrals in the cut-throat market. Keep the Client/Customer Engagement or Experience in Project Management a happy one, and wing your way to success.
Also, read: The Ultimate Project Management Checklist