What clients can expect
This week a client asked me for a service level agreement. We’ve produced a few of them over the years but for more technical processes such as website management.
Given that managing expectations is key to good service, I approached the task with a broader client distribution in mind. As a result I’ve been drafting a ‘service promise’ that outlines what clients can expect when they work with us. And – fair’s fair - I’ve also outlined what we expect from them.
What do you think? Does this fairly represent what you would expect from us if you were a client? What else do you think we should expect from clients?
What you can expect from us:
- Listen and ask questions to make sure we are clear about your challenge, your audience and what you need.
- Always deliver creative and innovative ways to engage your audiences and deliver the results you need.
- Base all our recommendations on good insights, research and/or best practice models and frameworks.
- Deliver the best solution across multiple mediums including print, on-line and experiential.
- Give you our best professional advice on what the best course of action may be including challenging you (in a good way) if we think something isn’t right.
- Utilise your expertise as a subject-matter expert.
- Collaborate with you, and other parties you work with, to deliver the best results possible.
- Ensure our work is correct and accurate at all times.
- Assign you a dedicated relationship/project manager who will be your main point of contact for all dealings with us.
- Take the time to understand your industry, your business, your objectives and the way you like to work.
- Celebrate success with you.
- Always allocate the required resource volumes and skills to your projects to ensure we can deliver what you need within the agreed timeframe and budget.
- Return your calls, emails and texts within a reasonable timeframe.
- Provide you with estimates for all work we undertake and outline the assumptions we’ve used in the estimate.
- Never charge you more than the higher range of the estimate, unless the scope of the project has changed.
- Notify you if something is out of scope before taking on the additional work. We’ll provide you with estimates for the additional work as soon as we are able to.
- Deliver detailed project plans for all projects of a significant size, as agreed.
- Use clear project methodology that facilitates the efficient and effective delivery of projects on time and on budget.
- Keep you informed of progress against timeframes and budgets and raise any risks which arise that could compromise quality, budget or timeframe, at the soonest opportunity.
- Work with a network of specialist partners who have the skills and professional practices to help us deliver the outcomes you need.
- Take responsibility for all freelancers or contractors we bring in to help us deliver your work.
- Have the appropriate insurances in place for the nature of the work we do for you.
- Ensure adequate health and safety processes are in place for all work we undertake for you.
- Make all endeavours to keep material, information and other items provided to us confidential and safe.
- Notify you as soon as we become aware of any conflict of interest that may arise and propose a course of action to mitigate and manage the conflict to your satisfaction.
- Have a clear escalation process if you are not happy with some aspect of our work or the way we are working together.
- Comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Keep good records of all time we spend on your projects.
- Invoice monthly within eight working days of the end of the month.
What we expect from you in return:
- Provide us with reasonable notice of work you intend to give us so we can plan the right level and type of resources for what you need.
- Be open and forthright with all aspects of your business so that we can tailor our solutions to what’s right for you.
- Be clear with your objectives and how success will be measured.
- Give us some leeway to explore ideas and solutions that have the potential to deliver better strategic-creative outcomes.
- Be reasonable in your expectations: effectively balancing the budget, time and quality trade-offs to achieve the best result possible.
- Carefully consider all material we provide you before approving it. This helps minimise changes at later stages in the project which may add additional effort.
- Provide us with the necessary information, content and approvals in a timely and orderly manner that allows us to deliver the agreed specifications, budget and timelines.
- Keep us informed of any developments that may impact our ability to deliver the agreed specifications, budget and timelines.
- Give us the opportunity to address any issues or concerns you may have.
- Give us open and constructive feedback on our work and process so that we can continue to learn and grow as an organisation.
- Pay us for all work you commission us to do – whether you progress with it or not.
- Pay our invoices by the 20th of the month following the date of each invoice.
Leave a comment below with your thoughts!
Integrated Reporting: Don’t aim for perfection. Just get in the mood and go.
I see too many clients hesitating to get on the integrated reporting bus. Often because they perceive that there’s a lot of internal change needing to happen before this is possible. Sometimes it’s because...
What makes good client service?
It’s the strangest experience when you’re climbing Mt Ngauruhoe on your way to reach the most beautiful coned top, when every step you take makes you slide further backwards. Strangely, somehow you do reach the...
The ideas path
I’ve always been an ideas guy. I feel comfortable looking at a problem or an opportunity and then generating lots of ideas about how to tackle it in a creative way. I’ll go one step further and say, it’s...
When is a prescribed solution not the right answer?
The client briefing at their office had not felt right from the start. We had enjoyed working with this client for some time and had always thought we were in a partnership. However, today was different. There...