Last days I had a meeting with our potential client. When I asked him, how was the cooperation with previous company, he didn’t complain about their software, but poor communication. Let’s be honest. Communication is just like two-way street, it has to flow in both directions.
It is very sad, but I know some really great projects that were nearly damaged through the poor communication. We are all just people of course, but taking care about the good information flow is one of the particular elements of being professionals. The problem that is met the most often is language. PM, developers and other team’s members must remember that client is not obliged to know the so called web speak and IT industry. The communication must be plain and understand for everyone.
At work that takes a big part of our life, we live in a special zone which is created by ourselves. We speak with our peers in the office or during meetups and conferences with shortcuts and names that only inside IT industry are understood. I would say even more, writing on slack, hangouts and other platforms pushes us for the fast communication, what makes the problem deeper. Remedy is easier than you think – listen to the language your client speaks.
Casual conversation is good for your daily meetings. Technical explanation that you normally give to the other team member must sound different to the client. There are some exceptions – your client is also an IT company that outsources its tasks! Then you are lucky. In other cases forget about the web speak.
The proper communication means understanding what is import to your client and tailoring your replays to those needs. It will help get your message heard for sure.
Let’s consider an example. Clarify your client what is RWD (Responsive Website Design). You should tell of course how technologically it looks, but especially focus on it, how it ensures the real business and what are your client’s profits.
Practice your communication skills!
In Softhis we have nearly 12 years of experience now. On our long, long way we had moments of glory but we also faced some failures too. Communication inside the team was always very important for us, but I will tell you about it more in other post. Listening to the clients and telling them stories about our products with proper language was always the element of our company’s culture. Winning the client is one thing, the other is keeping him to stay for a long cooperation. The best example that exists in Softhis is cooperation with BMW VERTRIEBS GMBH. From the first meeting one of the most important elements, that whole team has taken care about was two-way communication flow. Both teams were working together (client’s and ours) on the project that improved client’s workflow in the area of sales. After the success of Softhis Workflow sales module implementation, Softhis signed two new contracts with BMW VERTRIEBS GMBH: supporting works and implementation of new module that automating marketing processes between headquarter and car dealers.
Communication skills are related not only to IT industry. They are connected to anyone who take care of business and communicate to the others. Remember that not the tool is important (e-mail, chat, face to face conversation or telephone) the key is the way you do this.