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Clients: Almost Human

Clients: Almost Human

When doing software development projects, things often don't go as expected. Defects, cost overruns, and missed deadlines can always cause clients to be unhappy about the result. In this talk I will explain the client's perspective, what causes them to be unhappy, and how you can change your communication to ensure that even when a project goes south, your clients stay happy and remain confident in the project's success and your expertise.

Frank van den Brink

September 05, 2012

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  1. CLIENTS Almost human


  3. Frank van den Brink

  4. None
  5. None

  7. The client perspective

  8. How to make them happy

  9. When things go wrong


  11. What makes them unhappy

  12. Cost overruns

  13. Missed deadlines Cost overruns

  14. Missed deadlines Cost overruns Broken software

  15. What really makes them unhappy

  16. Unmet expectations

  17. Why?

  18. People hate surprises

  19. People hate feeling out of control

  20. Expectations

  21. Expectations Reality

  22. Expectations Reality Anxiety

  23. None
  24. Expectations are shaped to fit reality

  25. Despite setbacks they were in control

  26. They made me feel safe

  27. It’s all about perception

  28. It’s all about shaping expectations

  29. It’s all about guiding emotions

  30. None
  31. You won’t be judged by how things went

  32. You will be judged by how things felt


  34. Seek first to understand

  35. Don’t just listen to what they say

  36. Also listen to what they feel

  37. They have to feel that you are in control

  38. Tell them what you’re doing

  39. Tell them what is going to happen

  40. Tell them what is expected of them

  41. Tell them what happens if those expectations are not met

  42. They have to feel that you know exactly how this

  43. Be honest and sincere

  44. Be transparent about realities of the project

  45. Never commit to what you can’t deliver

  46. Respond quickly to questions

  47. Respond quicker to concerns

  48. Never negotiate


  50. Inform the client immediately

  51. Acknowledge concerns

  52. Be honest

  53. Always work towards a solution

  54. Always work towards moving forward

  55. Reset the expectations

  56. What you absolutely should not do

  57. Don’t get emotional

  58. Don’t play the blame game

  59. Don’t make excuses

  60. Don’t avoid communication


  62. Know that all this is a continuous process

  63. You are adjusting current expectations

  64. You are also building future expectations

  65. You are effectively building trust

  66. If they feel that you are in control

  67. If they feel that you are open and honest

  68. If they feel that you truly care

  69. If you deliver on your promises

  70. Clients will keep coming back

  71. And you can charge a premium fee

  72. THANK YOU! http://joind.in/7052 @fvdb http://about.me/fvdb http://speakerdeck.com/u/fvdb