The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many businesses and organizations operate, mainly due to the “forcing” of performing their duties from outside the office. However, it was quickly recognized that remote work has several benefits, providing employees with greater flexibility, time savings and reduced commuting costs in the first place, and employers with the ability to search for talent in a wider area, among other benefits.
Collaborate with clients while working remotely – table of contents:
However, this type of change has not come without its challenges, especially due to the lack of direct contact with business partners. Below, we explain how to work with clients in an era of widespread remote work to ensure you achieve the same results as before.
Constant contact – the basis of successful collaborate with clients
One of the most important aspects when working with clients is to keep in touch with them at all times so that they know at any time what stage the work is at, receive answers to questions right away or have no concerns about the final result. In the case of remote work, direct contact can easily be replaced by regular online meetings (on the chosen instant messenger), exchanging emails or phone calls.
For both parties, this type of opportunity is a considerable convenience, as it saves time and financial resources (e.g. spent on travel to the partner’s premises) – while achieving the same result. In this regard, it can be particularly helpful to set a fixed date for meetings (e.g. weekly, biweekly, monthly) depending on the needs and form of collaborate with the client. In this way, control over activities is ensured along with constant feedback.
Setting common goals – to take care of both sides in collaborate with clients
For both onsite and remote work, it is important to clearly define the goals and expectations of both parties. Therefore, before working with a client (and starting to implement activities), it is necessary to thoroughly discuss requirements, scope of work and expected results – and most importantly, completion dates and milestones. This will avoid unnecessary misunderstandings, enable you to track progress and ensure that the final product is delivered as expected.
To this end, it is worthwhile, first, to share various kinds of documents, prototypes or mockups regularly, so that one party can keep track of the work, and the other party can receive constant feedback (suggestions for changes, approval of the direction of development, etc.) that will improve the implementation of activities.
Online tools – to speed up the implemented processes
To facilitate collaborate with the client while working remotely, it is also worth using special project management tools (such as Firmbee). Such solutions allow everyone authorized to keep track of the progress of work, exchange information, communicate, share files, schedule meetings and perform several other processes to streamline daily contact.
In such a way you can easily manage the project schedule, assign tasks, monitor their implementation and maintain continuous communication. It all becomes a great convenience for everyone involved in the topic and will minimize the number of questions and doubts that arise.
Fast response time – to inspire confidence
Wanting to ensure effective collaborate with clients remotely, you should also remember to try to be available to your partners and not delay in responding to their messages (with work-life balance, of course). If you are unable to give a full response right away, let them know, ensuring that you have received the message and will get back with feedback as soon as possible. Doing so will reinforce your partner’s confidence in you and your team and also minimize possible worries about ongoing activities.
What’s more, showing interest and empathy towards the indicated needs, listening and understanding the different perspectives, and responding to expectations (especially regarding corrections or directions for further development) helps build lasting relationships. Given the nature of the remote environment, it is worth approaching these aspects with appropriate attention and care.
Collaborate with clients – summary
Collaborating with clients while working remotely can be just as fruitful as onsite work that involves face-to-face contact – as long as you make sure your partner is as well taken care of as before (albeit in a different form). You will undoubtedly be helped by various types of instant messaging and tools that have been developed with such situations in mind (especially facilitating remote relationship building).
Nonetheless, remember that the crucial thing is to stay flexible to reported needs and ready to adapt to changing situations. Constantly striving to improve your processes to ensure quality service – regardless of location, forms of contact and the way you carry out your duties – is the key to effectively collaborate with clients.