Friday, November 7, 2008

Communicating with a Client

Client interaction is a skill that you need to master. Atleast, this is what I did. When I first joined this community, I would just observe the emails, the tones, and the discussions. I would ask my mentor, Geeta, what kind of information can we share. Over a period of time, I think I have a better understanding of what is expected.

Do's
  1. Build a rapport with your client.
  2. Always start a conversation by greeting them warming and exchanging pleasantries.
  3. Identify very clearly what information you can divulge with your client and what you must withhold.
  4. Be honest and sincere always. Your client will appreciate this.
  5. Act and believe that you are the expert in your field. You know your stuff.
  6. Be formal, but warm or friendly.
  7. Always remain cool even in volatile situations.
  8. If you are unsure or you need to consult someone before you make a decision, let your client know that you need sometime and that you will get back to them as soon as you can.
  9. Make sure that you keep appointments. If your client requires weekly updates at 10:00 every Monday morning, ensure that you do this even if you have nothing new to share.
  10. Always acknowledge the client's mails. If you receive feedback, always thank them for their inputs.
  11. Greet them on festivals regardless of whether you are working on a project with them currently.
  12. Ensure that you send a deliverable on time. If a delay is inevitable, inform the client and apologize for this.
Dont's
  1. Don't be over-friendly or overly familiar with your client.
  2. Don't butter or use flowery language to make a positive impression.
  3. Don't be too impersonal and detached.
  4. Do not overreact to a request made by the client.
  5. Do not spit venom at your client in tough situations.
  6. Do not prevaricate or lie to your client.
  7. Do not avoid or ignore phone calls or mails.
  8. Don't agree or disagree with everything. Remember to use logic to back up every decision.