5 Tested Strategies for Remote Client Management with Orangescrum by Anurag Pattnaik T T T T Join 9K+ Subscribers January 7, 2020September 30, 2021 Spread the loveStakeholder management, client engagement and customer satisfaction are an integral part of project delivery. If not more, they are as important as project planning, execution, monitoring, and control. Turning prospects into clients are itself hard let alone engaging and retaining them. To add to it the challenges of the modern work environment of a global audience with the local culture of their own. So businesses across industries are always juggling between attracting, winning, delivering and retaining customers. That’s indeed a lot of work and doesn’t sound so fun to me. Improve remote collaboration with Orangescrum Try it free Let us take a quick look into some of the strategies that Orangescrum project management software can help with your customer success initiatives. ContentsContact Us Contents 1. Understand your Customer2. Collaborate & Engage them in execution3. Communicate, Communicate & Communicate some more4. The document, Agree & Accept Changes5. Share reports and performance metrics 1. Understand your Customer Jumping into execution upon winning a deal sounds exciting. Rightly so. But do not ignore your “customer” in that excitement! The real work begins once the customer has decided to work with you. Hence understanding your client’s desired outcomes is a must. Never gamble with that unspoken & unwritten piece of the contract. Go over the scope of work and ask as many questions as needed to strengthen your execution plan. Sure, you run the risk of losing critical information in emails or documents or chats given the numerous communication and collaboration tools available to us from email. Skype, WhatsApp, WebEx, zoom and many more. You can eliminate all of this chaos and prevent wasteful efforts in tracking information across multiple platforms by using Orangescrum. Create a project with the relevant name, link it to the client and create a Task Group – Requirements Gathering and start adding tasks for specific high-level discussion items, features or modules of the project and assign to your client SPOC. Use the handy “Notify via email” option for comments to obtain prompt responses. This way the entire discussion thread is captured in one central place providing full visibility to your team as well as the client. Most importantly, you build up your client’s confidence quickly as he sees how organized and professional your approach is. In other words, he starts to see the ROI immediately. 2. Collaborate & Engage them in execution Once you begin execution make sure you deliver within agreed time frames. Proactively notify of any anticipated delays to avoid confusion. Project collaboration if done effectively can increase the chances of project success. Also, it is important that the client is in the know of things as project management execution progresses. Choose to share task updates based on the nature of your project. E.g. if you are following an agile approach, schedule weekly or fortnightly sprint reviews with the client. In case, as an agency you have a dedicated developer arrangement, setup daily check-ins with the use of “Daily Catch-up” whereby you can send a quick snapshot of your day in terms of Key activities accomplished Client input dependencies if any Activities planned for the next day However, if the client is in a different time zone as is the case 95% of the times the daily catch-up comes in real handy. You & your customer form a partnership that works on the “follow the sun” model wherein your client sends in answers while you are asleep and you can resume based on renewed instructions. You reduce waiting periods, prevent errors and delays. “My team (Hailstorm-Development) and I LOVE Orangescrum! We are a flextime remote business solution specialist agency, and this tool has enabled us to actually create this company. Without you all, we wouldn’t even exist!” – Hayley Turner – Founder & CEO, United States, Michigan You can also use the in-app chat to clarify information gaps on the fly. Bake a time overlap plan into your overall execution. So that you can communicate and discuss crucial items in real-time. Thus, your clients know the pace of your project execution and will also be forthcoming with inputs, feedback and help as requested in a timely manner. 3. Communicate, Communicate & Communicate some more Communication is the most important pillar of maintaining consistent customer engagement and stakeholder expectation management. Right from requirements gathering, planning, status updates, progress metrics, delivery to post-delivery support need extensive & timely communication Make sure you have a robust communication plan as a standard practice across all project implementations. Set clear communication guidelines in terms of the mode, frequency, and format at the beginning of the project and share it with your teams and client. Invite the client to share his required communication format, frequency & stakeholder lists and bake them into your overall communication plan. Another aspect to consider is to understand how the client would like to communicate. Some have a stricter mandate of emails or their shared repositories, some may prefer quick snippets over WhatsApp or skype. However, as far as the information is meaningful, timely and regular the platform isn’t a challenge. Orangescrum offers “Project Notes” on its individual project dashboards that are used to list out all critical information for the client. E.g. pending UAT, CR approvals, upcoming and pending invoices, risks, issues, and key achievements and challenges. The timestamp and user info are also tracked within the Orangescrum task management tool to maintain data integrity and are always current. For matters that require urgent client action, quick tasks with task reminders, priorities work best to get that desired prompt attention. Best of all, your client can respond to the tasks assigned & access the project dashboard too. 4. The document, Agree & Accept Changes Keep in mind that scope changes are inevitable. However, handling them efficiently goes a long way in building a lasting customer relationship and successful implementation. As stated in the first point above, documenting client communications via tasks comes in handy during scope changes. Both of you have the “single source of truth” to refer to and work jointly to enhance the scope if needed or break an impasse! Secondly, Orangescrum offers a host of meaningful features to classify and track various aspects of project management. Custom task types Custom task labels Subtasks Custom status Task linking Share files (google drive, dropbox) “Looking for an intuitive and well-structured management interface between our customers and us. We’ve found Orangescrum. With its well-designed UI it helped us to bring transparency to our customer interaction with negligible administration efforts. having one central solution to track and control is a huge benefit for us. The responsive support from OrangeScrum helped us to get started with a day.” – Christian Pohl – Chief Product Manager Automation Software, HPF GmbH, Germany Here is how Orangescrum users use these features effectively. When a scope change is requested: Create a task and assign the task type as – Change Request Use custom labels to indicate the specific feature or module the request will likely impact Create additional subtasks if needed to perform time, effort and cost analysis by other members of the project team. Set reminders for the client for updates and approval Use custom status workflow to track the task status from Requested to Approved/Rejected Note that all of this happens transparently and with end to end collaboration with the client. Hence, information exchange and conflict resolution become easier. Moreover, you come out of it with better outcomes in terms of overall quality, client expectation handling, and customer satisfaction. 5. Share reports and performance metrics Project Management is incomplete without adequate “Monitoring and control”. Tracking key performance metrics such as Resource utilization Resource allocation Billable hours Planned vs actual hours are crucial to keeping the project on track. Time tracking, resource management, reports, and analytics can become cumbersome over time and prove counterproductive if done manually. Allow, project management software such as Orangescrum to take care of these while you focus on actual project implementation. Increase 3X Productivity with Orangescrum Centralized project, task and resource management for growing teams Get Started Free Please enter your email. And rightly so. Orangescrum provides detailed resource utilization along with key task attributes and billable hours that can be quickly exported and shared with the clients. “I work with Freelancers to get the CAD jobs done. Orangescrum provided my team with a way to track and bill their time directly on the project they are working on. This saved me a lot of administrative work.” – Brent Kerr – CEO, Kewico GmbH Roles based access control (RBAC) makes it easy for you to configure permissions for your client users as to what they can and cannot access within Orangescrum. This way the client has all the access and information he needs in real-time plus the added data integrity. Daily and Weekly timesheets are additional tools for the client to track how the project team is engaged on the project and if they are on track w.r.t planned vs actual hours. As agencies, it becomes really easy to just grant access or export a report and share it with the client as needed. You get to stay organized, demonstrate utmost professionalism, eliminate concerns and maintain credibility throughout the customers’ journey. Signup today to strengthen your customer interactions and build lasting relationships!