Advice From Our Founder: 3 Ways to Build Client Relationships
Midway through the fourth quarter, I felt it was timely to reflect on the triumphs and challenges that we have experienced for Element Project Services (EPS) in the last year.
A respected colleague recently shared the following sentiment, and it resonated with me, as it rings true to how we try to run our business. He said, “in business; It’s a marathon not a sprint.” I couldn’t agree more.
EPS has been fortunate to build our business along side some valuable clients. We started our company with them, and we intend to work with them for years to come. Our strategy remains the same with new clients as well. If we start a business relationship with someone, we want that to continue, and benefit both parties for an indefinite amount of time. I felt this was a great opportunity to talk about how we manage our client relationships, what we’ve learned, and our goals for the future.
We’ve built our company culture on a foundation of transparency, and accountability. The entire EPS team knows the importance of our relationships with clients and make it a priority in everything they do each day. Our goal is to never become a one-off service provider.
As such, here are three important ways we nourish our client relationships and how we would benefit your project team in the future:
1. Clients Are a Lifetime Commitment
I understand if this sounds a little scary, but it’s actually quite logical. How wonderful it would be to not have to continually waste time, money and energy to constantly train and liaise new contractors on the forward-facing strategy of your business. Thinking of this, having a reliable go-to contractor for your project needs might not seem like such a scary commitment. Take this case study for example:
Think of big brands like Kleenex and Coca-Cola. They have enticed their clients, (us!) into a lifetime commitment. How? Each company’s reputation and products are so engrained into our psyche that many people no longer ask for a tissue or a pop, but a “Kleenex!” and a “Coke!.” Similarly, we seek to have our clients think of us as an extension of their own teams, knowing that they can rely on our services at any time. By treating our clients as more than just “customers,” we can align with their company culture. This is an important characteristic to a client relationship that is maintained over an extended period of time.
How do we do this?
Partnering with EPS means something that goes beyond individual project development. In order to become more than a contractor offering services, our PM team is committed to creating a two-way relationship.
2. Quantify Project Success Rates
Every business is afraid of failure. It’s rarely done on purpose, but it does happen. As a project management firm, it’s actually our duty to ensure projects do not fail. If our success rates on project delivery are not on par, it’s bad for our business. Luckily for our clients, it’s our job to ensure problems do not occur. Although even if a project is deemed successful by all stakeholders, there is always room to learn, improve and ultimately grow in efficiency on future projects.
By planning how we will monitor and measure performance with our project managers and extended corporate team, each employee will remain accountable while ensuring a constant focus on the next projects’ success. No matter how successful an organization is currently, if the project team is not seeking innovative ways to improve on how things can be done better, the quality of project performance will falter in the future.
3. The Business Model Aligns with the PM Model
A project management firm’s entire business model should mirror the precision, organization and structure in which a project manager would execute a project. The primary goal of any project manager is to drive the clients vision forward. From the Administration, Accounting down to the Marketing Department, our employees go about their day-to-day work under the same methodologies as our engineers and project managers in the field. Having each department create PM oriented documents such as Work Breakdown Structures and clear timelines; our team is able to drive the larger goals of the business forward.
This in allows us to stay focused both on our own company strategy, and our clients project objectives. If they are not done in tandem, either the client or your business goals will be neglected. By streamlining the process of each, we can ensure the successful growth of our business, alongside the success of projects being executed under our supervision.
At EPS, each of our clients know we are in it for the long haul by being actively motivated in helping their objectives succeed aside from our own.