Clients will be faced with many decisions throughout the course of their project, and while these decisions are some of the most exciting moments for clients, the process as a whole can also be overwhelming. That’s where your professional expertise plays a big role – setting your clients up for success sets your company up for success as well. Guiding them through the personalization of their project can easily be built into your overall project management process:
Pro Tip 1: Identify allowances from the start. It’s important to account for all costs, whether the custom options for the project have been finalized or not. This allows for you to go ahead and sign a contract with your client that lays out reasonable expectations for these expenditures so your clients can begin thinking about making choices with the designated cost mind.
Pro Tip 2: Define the process. The decision-making process is handled differently from company to company and project to project. Don’t assume that your client knows what to expect, what to do, or where to start – all they know is that they want to be involved as you make their ideas come to life.
- Will you be choosing options for them to review and approve? Will this involve scheduled showroom meetings and catalog reviews, or do you have standard options already selected?
- Will your client be selecting options that fall within the parameters of categories & allowances outlined in the initial cost estimate? Are there specific vendors you prefer for them to choose from or are you open to any and all? How will their selections be communicated to you?
Pro Tip 3: Hold clients accountable. Having client selections approved on time is an integral part of keeping the project on time and on budget. Present clients with a complete schedule early on that identifies the specific decisions that need to be made, and the dates by which they must make these decisions – emphasizing for your client just how important their contributions are to the actual completion of their project.
Remember, your clients are depending on your expertise and guidance, particularly when they are tasked with finalizing the details of their dreams. By providing clear direction for a smooth selections process, you will create happy clients – and that’s the most desirable outcome a project can have for your business.
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