PRE KICKOFF – TSA STYLE
Before you start with your client, you need to set some hard boundaries and clear expectations. Without it, they’ll step all over you. Even if they’re nice people. Even if they’re great clients.
Think of this like the TSA check point. Nobody likes it, but everybody puts up with it, because it’s a necessary part of experiencing the miracle of human flight (and getting from point A to B as quick as possible).
When setting expectations, think about certain rules you have for your business, processes that let you operate effectively, challenges your client may face, and more.
This includes (put these in writing):
What are your hours of operation?
How many meetings will you have with them? How often?
What happens if they contact you outside the guidelines?
How long do you need them to review things?
When will they be confronted?
How do you reassure them?
What happens when they don’t review?
When you document exactly how you want kickoff meetings to go, you’ll be able to start quickly delegating to team members.
Requirements for kickoff documentation include:
Who is in the room and how to address their immediate concerns
(e.g. finance chick will have different needs than the marketing dude or intern who is the boss’ kid)
Anything that needs to be ironed out that wasn’t during sales
What they lied about during sales
Once it’s done, finish strong. Send the client a recap so you are both on the same page, and have proof of what was agreed upon. Without this follow up, it’s like running a marathon and walking the last 1⁄2 mile because the hard part is behind you. Nah!
In your recap, you can include definitions of key terms and other educational material. This will give them confidence you are the right person for the job and you can start to make them a more sophisticated client.
High Level: what do people not know about your service, features, industry, delivery or progress?
What do you wish they knew so you don’t have to spend time explaining during client calls?
Surveys are key, not only to making this engagement a success, but also to getting your clients lining up to work with you again. Feedback tells you how you and your team are doing, and how happy your client is. They also help increase retention and allow you to make changes to create a better customer experience.
Unfortunately, clients often let them slip by the wayside. All. The. Time.
To increase completion rates:
Make surveys short and easy
Set the expectation up front that you care about quality and will be surveying them, so they take the time to do it