As a contractor, whether working solo, as a lead project manager, working remotely from home, or as one cog of a larger team, you’ll have your own set of responsibilities to deal with, but there’ll be one responsibility that will be vitally important towards your continued success as a contractor; the happiness of your client. You are your own boss as a contractor and responsible for managing yourself as a brand and part of this management ensures delivering positive results in the contracts you work on and ensuring your clients are happy with your work.
A happy client will lead to more potential contracts in the future, positive word of mouth about your services generated amongst other possible employers, and long-term progression as a contractor.
But how can you keep clients happy? Here’s some helpful tips;
Plan of Action
At the start of every contract, it’s good to give a client an overview of your strategy, or a battle plan if you will. A blueprint that gives them an idea of the direction you’ll be taking and how you’ll be approaching certain tasks with certain objectives in mind. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a plan that summarises the whole project from start to finish. They can easily be broken down into smaller plans that map out a few days or a full week. Remember, you may only be contracted to a project for a number of weeks or months and a client will want to know you’ve scoped out everything with deep thought for the entirety of a contract.
Keep them in the loop
In some cases where you might have to be working solo and away from a team, or even remotely from your home office, a client will want assurances of your progress and productivity and that you’re getting on with the job at hand and handling your workload effectively.
Keeping a client in the loop about your daily activities is an effective way to maintain a client’s happiness and sustaining that level of trust between each other. Some form of progress report, delivered either at the end of the week or the end of the day is an ideal way to keep the client involved but involved enough you can still get on with your work.
Keep pushing yourself
With a contract, there will likely to be a broad set of objectives and responsibilities for you to fill. These probably won’t go into too much detail but it’s important to not deliver just on these and do the bare minimum required. See how you can go that extra mile and exceed a client’s expectations. Ask questions, and see where there’s room for improvement. It’s important to never settle, and strive only for the best!
Finish the job!
You’ll have heard the term unfinished business in many different contexts. Working on a contract is one in which you definitely don’t want to hear that phrase. It’s important in any contract to ensure you achieve everything that is required of you and there are no loose ends left to tie up. An unfinished job means someone else has to come in and finish what you started or what you were supposed to do in the first place, and this reflects better on that person than it does on you.
At the end of each contract, it might even be worth sending out a short feedback survey to rate your client’s level of satisfaction. There’s always room for improvement even if you’ve delivered a perfect job and reviewing your previous contracts will keep you progressing positively as a contractor.
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