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Managing Client Expectations as an IT Contractor
Date: Thursday 14 September 2023
In the last few years, we’ve noticed a growing number of people working as IT contractors in diverse organisations, including the public sector, smaller businesses, and huge multinationals.
As a professional IT contractor, it’s important to build a strong relationship with your clients and manage their expectations. A trusted and solid partnership can lead to new doors opening for you and give you a good reputation in the market.
Whether you're new to IT contracting or have years of experience, managing client expectations is a key skill. Here are three areas to focus on:
By establishing good communication, you can understand the client's needs and define your role to achieve the expected goal. Also, it's crucial to provide updates and follow-ups as the project progresses.
Agree with your client on how you will work together, define clear communication channels, and set expectations for how often you will communicate.
You can choose different tools such as emails, phone calls, meetings, or reports and agree on the frequency of daily calls or weekly reports depending on the project or client’s demand.
It’s important to make time for appropriate communication with your client and periodically check if it's working, it can help you clarify potential questions or changes during the project. Also, check if the client prefers a different way to follow up on the project.
It's important to try to keep your clients happy by staying in continuous contact with them.
One more tip to manage client expectations successfully is to discuss your job description so that clearly describes roles and responsibilities for all parties involved. You should understand who your stakeholders are and who will be responsible for assigning your activities.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and create a detailed plan for all projects. This can then be shared with your client.
Set Clear goals:
You won't be able to manage expectations if you don’t know your client's goals. It’s very important to set goals before you join a new project. It ensures both you and the client are on the same page and working towards an agreed outcome.
Using two-way conversations where possible, and being honest about deadlines and project progress, you’ll build a transparent relationship, delivering excellent customer service.
There may be some situations where you can accomplish a goal much sooner than expected or have a delay if an issue has arisen, because of this you should give updates to your client. Whether it’s good news or bad, the sooner you align it with them, the better.
Encourage your client to do the same when they have news that will affect the project. Again, trust and transparency are crucial to managing expectations.
Remember: when you assume a new IT contracting role, your client is investing money in you and your skills, so it is crucial to manage the client's expectations and to build a solid relationship.
Find your new IT contracting role today!