When running a company or dealing with clients, your first priority should always be the customer. Without your clients and customers, you have no company, so you should do whatever possible to make sure they are satisfied 100% of the time.
I deal with clients on a day to day basis and have the responsibility of maintaining complete customer satisfaction. How do I do it? Here are a few of the rules I live by.
A key tactic for dealing with clients and their deadlines is to stay one step ahead of the game. If a client needs their work by Thursday, I set my goal for Wednesday. I always give myself extra time so if I have any deadline problems, I have a cushion for production.
Planning production deadlines for a day (or more) ahead has two benefits. One, you have a window for production problems. Two, if you happen to meet your goal without any issues, you can deliver a day early. Clients love when you jump ahead of their expectations.
Clients are notorious about changing their minds, especially when it comes down to decision time. If project guidelines are being changed by unexpected client demands, this can cause a set back and lead to deadline problems.
The best way to avoid deadline problems based on changing demands is to be completely transparent, honest and helpful. Let the client know that the changes will likely push back a production date. Just make sure that you explain why this will happen. Remember that clients may be new to your services, and it is your job to help them figure out what they want and the best process for getting there.
Another situation where there may be deadline issues has to do with your own production team. I have had many instances where writers will accept work and then when the deadline hits, they are a NO SHOW. This is something that can really mess up an entire project.
When this happens to me I always have a list of back-up writers. These writers to me are my right hand, I contact them and they are there for me right on the spot. This is something I found extremely helpful and really gets me through not missing any deadlines for clients.
Plan for Last Minute Quality Improvements
If you notice that the content is not up to par with what the client wants, you have to get it fixed immediately. There is no time for games here; this will seriously cause you to miss a deadline (and the mark for client satisfaction).
As previously mentioned, ALWAYS give yourself extra time. In this situation, the extra time will allow you to get revisions and sometimes, complete rewrites done. You should never delivery subpar content, so the extra time cushion will give you time to step up your game before delivery.
Since a major part of my job is dealing deadlines I must always keep myself organized. Organization is the first key, if you have everything organized nothing will get slipped through the cracks. Secondly, remember to always give yourself some extra time. If you have something due Tuesday make your due date for Monday. Nothing is perfect so I highly doubt a project runs smoothly ONLY if it’s an old ongoing one.