This list of ten tips for good client relationship management was produced for the Design Business Association by Jan Casey, an independent consultant and advisor to the design and marketing industries.
Do everything before the client asks
You have managed projects before, but your client may not have. Capitalise on this by supporting them through the process.
Agree the relationship procedures
Agree the main points of contact between you and the client.
Explain your project practices
Have open dialogue about your practices and tools of communication, including a clear plan of when and how stages of work will be delivered.
Put in place failsafe internal systems
Plan presentations, briefings and meetings in advance to avoid looking unprofessional. Don’t send people to meetings unless they have a clear, predetermined role: it looks expensive to the client.
Be in control of finances
Always have a clear awareness of the financial situation across all your projects.
Know and understand your client
Learn about a client’s business beyond the remit of the current project.
Develop the client relationship and business
Get to know as many client staff as possible and keep them up to date what your consultancy is doing.
Be aware of how you conduct yourself
Listen carefully; be confident and honest, but not arrogant.
Ask for feedback
To continue improving, find out what you are doing well and where you’re performing poorly.
Go the extra mile
Don’t settle into a routine – push yourself and surprise your client.