Client Liaison

Client liaison is a crucial aspect of any web project. The lack of this communicative liaison within a development can carry a significant impact on budget, time scales, team morale and, most importantly, client satisfaction at the end of the day. Having enough knowledge of the practical side of the project to know what information they must extract from the client is key. Keeping both client and development team accountable to one another is equally key.

Although the project may be the number one priority for you and your team, it may be way down on the client’s list. The client could be dealing with any number of other projects as well as trying to run their business. Each time you go back for clarification or approval, it might take time to get a response and represent further development delays.

For small sites it’s a case of getting an accurate brief, getting concepts approved and signed off on, and then the never ending task of chasing the client for content. For larger projects, especially when there’s a lot of functionality involved, the level of interaction with the client increases exponentially. So important is this task, most teams have a dedicated Client Liaison to handle the task.

As important as it is to be in regular communication with the client, failing to do so can result in expensive losses of time and money. Fail to listen to and understand the client properly, and, well, fail.

Take one example as shared by Drew McLellan, long-time web industry guru, involved in several major brands such as Yahoo! and technical lead within design and branding agencies for such clients such as Nissan, Goodyear Dunlop, Siemens/Bosch, Cadburys, ICI Dulux and

“We’re halfway through a project and we realize there’s a chunk of content missing – the client needs to be contacted to get the content. Here’s how the process goes for Account Manager A:

  1. Developers request AM gets content from client
  2. AM phones client and asks for the same; client responds that they have something like that already, and they’ll send it through.
  3. Client faxes through a page from an old brochure that has some fairly wordy, out-of-context content along the right sort of lines
  4. AM hands the fax to development
  5. Development read through it, decide that it’s too wordy and out of context, and errr, it’s a fax!
  6. AM goes back to client and the whole process starts again.

Now, here’s how Account Manager B (with added clue) goes about it.

  1. Developers request AM gets content from client
  2. AM phones client and asks for the same; client responds that they have something like that already, and they’ll send it through.
  3. AM asks where the content was used, and what form it’s in, suggesting that it may need to be reworked a little bit to fit in with the overall tone of the web site. AM suggests client takes some time to look it over and suggests client emails the content through the next morning.
  4. Client emails content through the next morning. AM proof-reads and then forwards it on to development.
  5. Development copy & paste the content into the site.

OK, so this sounds pretty obvious, right? Surely no one would hire someone to perform a client liaison job if they didn’t have the amount of clue demonstrated by Account Manager B, right? Well, you’d be surprised. I’ve worked with plenty of them, and it’s amazing what an impact bad client liaison can have on the budget, time scales, team morale and most importantly client satisfaction for any project.”

Today, both Web companies and their clients seek the valuable expertise of Kaizen’s industry specific business consulting team - particularly one with IT industry savvy experience. It’s time to accelerate your projects, gain back valuable time, and guarantee satisfied clients.

To Learn More, Call Us: 403-809-6848