what I’ve learnt from being the client for once

We’ve been doing a mini-refurb at home so for the last 8 weeks we’ve had a house full of tradesmen – plumbers, electricians, joiners and so on.  Which it turns out isn’t terribly conducive to working half the week from home.

But aside from that it’s been a real eye-opener in terms of client expectations vs. delivery.  So here’s what I’ve learnt from being the client for once:

– Whatever your client’s deadline is, several other things will inevitably depend on that deadline being met.  So when you need to put the debrief date back or don’t have the data ready (or, say, haven’t tiled the bathroom yet), your client is pissed off because now four other things are going to happen late as well.

– If you, the supplier pledge dedicated people to a project for a dedicated period of time, the client WILL notice if those people are actually juggling several clients. A constantly ringing mobile and lack of availability are a bit of a giveaway.

– The client has recently re-read your proposal/quote, in considerable detail.  Double-check before project delivery that you have actually done everything you said you were going to do and that the figure on your invoice is the one they were expecting.

– And on the subject of clients-who-are-expecting-the-project-delivered-as-promised, double-check that whatever you leave behind actually is finished and ready to implement.  Look for bugs, errors, typos or stuff that simply doesn’t work properly.

So there you go.  And if anyone needs insight into the radio station and van preferences of skilled tradesmen I am now your woman.

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