RE: How to look good in your customer's eyes

Subject: RE: How to look good in your customer's eyes
From: "Jonathan West" <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 17:56:21 -0000


Hi John,

>
> I don't see anything wrong with factoring in the likelyhood that
> unexpected issues can crop up at certain points and to let the
> customer KNOW that you are including them. This is not so much
> "whoops" time, as much as it is experience that issues come up and
> need to be factored in. It is only the inexperienced or stupid who
> don't do this.

I think the key point here is honesty. If you say upfront what events
outside your control might happen that would affect timescales etc, then the
customers know what they are letting themselves in for. For instance, you
would say that in order to have everything ready on time, you need certain
material from the SMEs by a specific date, and for it to be complete and
accurate to a reasonable degree, and that the SMEs are available for
consultation as and when necessary. If that doesn't happen, the project will
slip.

Most customers also accept that wholly unpredictable things can happen, and
again, if you tell them about it *right away* and are realistic about the
effects, then again, most people are reasonable about it.

Things get sticky if you neglect to factor in normal contingencies, or if
you delay telling somebody that the timetable is slipping until after it's
too late to adjust to the circumstances.

That way, the customer's expectations are always realistic, and if within
that you do a good job, you'll get asked back.

Just my $0.02.

Regards
Jonathan West


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References:
Re: How to look good in your customer's eyes: From: John Posada

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