Tired of Difficult Clients? Project Planning and Management Tips to Make it Easier

As a contractor, you will know what we mean when we say; you can’t please everyone. Do you know what the golden rule is to managing clients? You need to manage their expectations.

Ensuring that each client has a “perfect experience” when working with you is somewhat unrealistic without making them aware of what is actually possible and how long things take. You can achieve that by being honest from the moment you first encounter your client.

Keeping them satisfied, on the other hand, is most certainly possible.

As a contractor, you should strive to help your customers through any dissatisfaction that may result in a negative review, or even worse, a legal dispute. Besides completing the build to your best ability, avoiding dissatisfaction in the first place can be done through effective project planning and management.

So, let’s look at some project planning and management tips to make dealing with clients more comfortable.

Communication is key

Great communication results in a productive relationship, especially if you aren’t seeing your client face-to-face regularly. Ask them what their preferred method of contact is, how often they would like updates, and when they want the project completed by.

Once you have established this, all you have to do is make sure to abide by those expectations. Ensure you track your progress and accomplishments so that when it is time to update your client, you will be able to do so quickly.

When mishaps occur, or if there are any issues (which there almost always are), let them know immediately but be sure to provide a solution too. Always be in the know.

Be open and honest. After all, it is a collaboration, and you wouldn’t want your client hiding anything from you.

Listen & add value where you can

Ask your client as many questions as possible. Take note and listen – let them tell you exactly what they want. Then, repeat it all back to them and make sure you are both on the same page. Listening will help build trust, and trust is everything in a professional relationship.

Add value where you can – send them back their thoughts and go the extra mile when it comes to executing their vision.

It really is the little things, like sending photographs of progress or asking their opinion on things. Make them feel involved and part of the process.

Stick to the plan

First things first, after you have quoted your client, build a plan, otherwise known as a Scope of Work. This plan needs to outline all the project details. How much detail? Everything, including roles and responsibilities, a timeline, and goals.

Once you have that, then sit with your client and go through your Scope of Work together. This way, you will be on the same page from the get-go, helping you avoid difficult conversations or situations as the project progresses.

A great way of compiling all of this information into one centralized place is by using a project planning and management app. This ensures that you, your team, and your client all have access to the plan. A Renovation app is inexpensive and effective and because you can set checkpoints so your client will be able to see progress without having to visit the construction site or contact you.

Do not overpromise

Remember when we said the golden rule to dealing with clients is by managing their expectations? Well, this means you should never overpromise. Try not to add spice in other words. If you promise something, and then further down the road you don’t deliver on that promise; it will result in an angry client, and for good reason.

Instead set realistic timelines and build in extra buffer time for deliverables in case something comes up. Overpromising can negatively affect your business, so don’t use it as a tactic to acquire new business. In the long run, it is destructive.

The most common way of overpromising is by giving your client a completion date that you aren’t 100% certain about.

The solution? Add an extra week to the timeline. Guess what the result will be if you end up completing it a week sooner than what you told the client? An ecstatic client.

We hope these project planning and management tips help you managing your clients so that it is a less stressful and more successful process.