When dealing with a new customer, there’s always that element of initial excitement from both parties – on one side, the customer is looking forward to achieving a successfully delivered project outcome and on the other, the contracting company is happy to begin a new working relationship and grow their business.
So, this level of excitement means that everything is going to go to plan because the goodwill of both stakeholders is evident, right? Not necessarily so and in this blog, we’ll take a look at how managing some of a customers’ expectations correctly is a key part of delivering a successful project.
Quite often, a regulatory body will determine the actual deadline for a project, whether directly by setting a timeframe for a remediation project, or indirectly by naming a date for an Inspection giving an organization the opportunity to put in place a remediation program in advance. If a remediation program is put in place, it’s essential that any deadlines agreed are realistic and that all critical information (data from Third Parties/internal documents/access to materials etc) is available when finalising a deadline.
The nature of work to be carried out:
It may sound like an easy question to answer, but do you really know the full extent of work you’re being asked to complete? If you’re being asked to audit against existing policies and procedures, does your customer expect a consultancy report as well as an actual audit report? Again, this is something that you need to agree on before commencing the project.
The people working on the project:-
If you have a set of deliverables to achieve, then you will use the best possible people to assist you. The budget that a customer has will affect the type of people you can use and you will have to make this clear from the outset how exactly you intend to structure your team. If they want your team to bring about a change in culture at their organization, it’s vital that your team has a track record of successful mentoring.
Equipment – who provides it?
When scoping out the level of work required, it’s always best practice to outline who will provide any equipment that will be used. Even as a backup plan, it’s best to have any necessary equipment (laptops/calibration devices etc) available to hand when you arrive on site, just in case a customer doesn’t provide them.
To summarise, to successfully manage a customers’ expectations and build a long lasting and successful relationship you must communicate clearly and concisely. Outlining exactly what, who and how you will be executing your project at the outset will ensure that every interested party knows exactly what is expected from the outset.