One of the goals of project management is to create a positive experience for your customers. According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner, within the next two years, 81% of respondents expect that the company that rises above its competitors will do so on the basis of quality customer experience. It’s still important to have a great product, but among top quality producers, you need something extra to make you stand out.
The project manager is the person who has the most contact with the customers and thus is the one who is likely to have the most influence over their decision to choose your product or service over the competition. There are several characteristics that this vital point person needs to exhibit in order to build a solid customer relationship.
Project management involves fostering collaboration and cooperation in your team to come up with the best solutions for your customers. While ideally, every person on your team is going to be a talented problem solver, the bulk of that responsibility lies on the project manager. A good manager leads the team by thinking outside the box when the standard answer doesn’t address what the customer actually needs.
To offer good solutions in a timely manner, it helps if the person in charge of the team has a broad range of knowledge. When customers contact a company, they often don’t know exactly who at the organization will be able to answer their question the best. This can result in being shuffled around from person to person until it gets to someone who can give them a clear solution. This may make sense from the inside, but from the outside, it can feel like they’re getting the runaround. As the project manager, if you have a general grasp on a lot of the questions customers typically ask, you can satisfy them without having to pass them off to someone else.
Good Time Management
Time management is a key component of project management toolbox. In a world where customers can make a few clicks and have what they want delivered to them in record time, being able to offer swift, efficient service is not optional. Be available to your customers, and return calls and emails promptly. In fact, if you find a way to serve them better, don’t wait for them to contact you. Follow up with them to make sure that all their needs have been met. Taking the initiative to contact them to ensure their satisfaction can make you stand out and give you a loyal customer for life.
Many of the characteristics of good project management are made possible by great communication skills. These skills start with your team. Aside from brainstorming sessions, you can utilize other tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page:
- Task management tools
- Instant messaging software
When it comes to customer service, the main role of the leader in charge of project management is to act as a liaison between the team and the customer. You want to communicate regularly with them but not excessively. By having one person who is tasked with keeping the lines of communication open, you can better manage the relationship with the customers.
As a project manager, you are in a unique position to listen to your customers. You are the face and voice of the company to them, and as such, you are likely the first person they will contact to voice a complaint. Pay close attention to this feedback. It will tell you where you need to focus your service efforts. Good customer experience doesn’t usually involve revamping the entire way you do business. Identify the one key element that makes customers happy, and you can soar above your competitors.
Extra Mile Service
Good project management involves paying close attention to the service you provide to your customers. As the project manager, you should ask yourself six questions about the experience of your customers:
- What are the unique qualities of your product or service that satisfy the specific needs of your customers?
- Does what you offer meet or exceed the customers’ expectations?
- What extras can you supply to surprise your customers and add value to your service?
- Is the overall customer experience pleasant?
- How can you simplify the buying process to make it easier for your customers?
- How quickly do you respond to both positive and negative customer feedback?
You need more than a great product or service to attract customers and keep them coming back. The characteristics that make you excel at project management are the same skills that you need to please your customers.
This blog was earlier published on LinkedIn.