It’s happened to the best of us. A client is disappointed in our work, and wishes to go over the project with us. This is not all bad news. Often a small miscommunication is the problem, and the client meeting gives you the chance to fix the issues sooner rather than later. Here are some ideas to guide your meeting.
Often, the miscommunication happens very early on when assigning a project or analyzing business needs. Make sure you and the client are on the same page and have the same goals, objectives, and expectations.
Determine which part of the project the client is dissatisfied with.
We typically assume there is a problem with the project as a whole, when the client is upset about only a small portion. ASK the client to point out which areas he or she isn’t happy with so you know what you’re dealing with immediately. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.
Ask how it can be improved.
Don’t play guessing games—again, ASK what the client is looking for. Do you need to do more in-depth research? Better elicitation? Include more stakeholders in the project? Ask what you need to do to improve the solution or the way the project is run.
Determine if the dissatisfaction is a fair assessment.
No matter how kind the evaluation, you’re sure to feel a sting because you believe you’ve made some mistakes. Take a close look at what the client has told you, and decide whether the evaluation is a fair one. Put your ego aside, but don’t allow the client to beat you down either. Clients can be incorrect in their beliefs and feelings.
If the assessment is a fair one, move forward with the client’s suggestions. If not, discuss the matter further and stick up for yourself and your team. See if you can work out an equitable solution.
How do you handle disappointed clients?