In this post I’d like to share something I’ve seen and experienced over and over again. It was relevant when I still did client projects at a web development company, it’s relevant for my personal projects and it’s relevant when working remote for WooThemes. Communication is one of the most important things there is.
Good communication makes happy customers
Let’s start with communication towards clients. You know what most clients are unhappy about? It’s not bugs. It’s not missing features. It’s poor communication. You know one of the easiest ways of turning a unhappy client 180 degrees around? You can probably guess it by now. Good communication. You see, the reason clients get unhappy isn’t always your fault. I’ve had people contacting me pretty unhappy (read mad) about something they bought from me that crashed their website. With clear and swift communication we were able to find out it was actually a conflict with another plugin. We deactivated the other plugin, the client didn’t want to use it anymore, and everything worked as expected. The result? Communication turned my unhappiest client into one of my happiest clients.
Let me tell you about a mistake I once made. I was working on a project and halfway in the project I realized I didn’t have enough time to it before deadline. Instead of communicating this to the project manager I’d tell myself I could fix it. I’d work late a couple of nights and maybe even some weekends if needed. In my case it didn’t change the outcome. I still didn’t make the deadline but instead of giving the project manager weeks to handle it I told him the day before. Why did I let it come this far? Why didn’t just tell the project manager half way in the project? I’ll tell you why. Because telling someone that I wasn’t able to do something what I said I could do felt like failure. The truth is that a lot of times, including this example, it’s not even your fault. Scopes change, features change, mistakes are made. Good communication when these things happen give you and others to the opportunity to make things right.