Client Lives in the UK. You’re in Atlanta. Communication Success or Failure?

I have a client who lives in Scotland. Our only communication has been through Gchat and email. How do you build a blogsite and a website entirely through email?

Are you insane?

Well, yes and no. I’ve learned not to take every client who says, can you help me. Entrepreneur-minded people of the world know exactly what I mean. Here’s my formula for success.

  • I scope out the project very clearly. I’ll even state, ‘client, here are the boundaries of the project’.
  • I ask how that person learns. Not everyone is a visual learner. Some learn by doing. Others are happy watching a video on YouTube. Find out and make both of your lives easier.
What happens to your client when you use jargon.
  • A jargon free zone. I love technology. There’s a computer chip lodged deep in my brain. I leave the jargon and the tech talk out. Why?

Well, have you ever had a conversation with someone who used words you didn’t understand? Not much of a conversation was it? Keep the conversations about why html5 will or won’t work at the developer’s desk.

  • Know your limitations. If I need time to check out whether or something will work, I’ll simply state that I need to check with my development team.
  • Set and meet deadlines. If you’ve ever worked on any web related project you know what a pothole this can be. I typically state what I think it will take times 2.
Keep it Simple. A Rock is Simple.
  • Apply the KISS principle. Keep it Simple Stupid. Think about it. You’re taking an extremely technical idea and explaining it to some person who has never heard of said idea and you’re selling them on the idea.

I typically employ the here’s what I can do and how it will benefit you approach. Short sentences are your friends.

  • Understand how to use your CMS (Content Management System) project tools. Understand that your client may not have a desire to use your sacred project management tool. I know CMS tools make our lives easier but can be a nightmare for the client.

If you do have clients using the latest and greatest CMS tool then show them how to use it. And don’t just shoot them a poorly constructed video. Have other alternatives in store if you have a stubborn client who likes to stray outside the CMS toolkit guidelines.

Oh, and if you’re wondering- the blog came out nicely and we’re working on the website. Still using Gmail and Gchat.

The End.

Johann Lohrmann
Business Analyst
www.johannlohrmann.com

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Rock image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Bear image courtesy of ningmilo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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