It’s all about supporting the client. It’s their vision, their business, and ultimately their money. It’s our job at PDB Collaborative to understand and conceptualize that vision, support their business needs, and create a realistic project scope. To be the best Project Manager you have to focus on what I like to call “total customer satisfaction.” What does that mean? Ensuring your client is satisfied at all times. Throughout the entire developmental process.
We’ve created a 5 step guide to ensuring total customer satisfaction, every step of the way:
1. Communication is EVERYTHING
Communication isn’t just the exchange of information. It’s much deeper than that. Good communication is when the shared goal is always at the forefront of every conversation, whether it’s with the client or the subconsultants. A lot of the time, people don’t understand everything that goes into the developmental process. Each person, whether it’s the architect, engineer, city official, etc., is part of what I like to call “the development puzzle.” Why? Because each person knows their specialty best. That person knows where they fit in the bigger picture- and most of the time, isn’t expected to know the other person’s job. That’s where I come in. With proper communication, the puzzle can be assembled smoothly and without much resistance.
We wouldn’t call ourselves PDB Collaborative if we didn’t, in fact, collaborate. Collaboration is the most important part of developing something remarkable. We all have to work together, with one goal in mind: to get the job done. In a development project, the team needs to work in unison to get design and permits approved, complete construction, and build out the space. You can see how teamwork and communication go hand in hand, but teamwork is especially important to ensure the client that everyone is doing their part.
3. Be Valuable
Value can come in many shapes and forms. Value can be helping people do things faster and better. Value can be educating people. Value can also be making people feel good about themselves and their interactions with you. Being a valuable Project Manager requires all of these things, but above all, it’s the ability to always provide a solution. Every day on the job you are faced with issues. It is easy to present these issues to the client, but what makes you a valuable Project Manager is providing solutions. When you’re faced with obstacles, it’s up to you to manage the moving parts, and get the problem solved. Utilize teamwork and communication to come up with the best solution and present this to your client. This shows how valuable you are to the overall project.
4. Complete Transparency
I’ve worked with people who have waited too long to tell the client bad news. If there is anything I’ve learnt personally and professionally, it’s to be honest. Even when it’s hard to be. Tell the client. Because no one likes being left in the dark. If there are issues, try and find a solution right away. If there are roadblocks, let the client know. Open communication, at all times, is always appreciated. At the end of the day, our client wants to feel like they have a partner. And your partner should always be in the know. That brings me to the 5th and final step.
As the Project Manager, you are a representative of the owner. You are the direct line of communication between every person in the development process and the owner. That kind of responsibility is huge. Especially when you are keeping your clients’ best interest in mind, and managing a team. To have a successful partnership, you need proper communication, teamwork, to be valuable, and complete transparency. But most of all, you need a successful partnership to provide total customer satisfaction.
This 5 step approach to total customer satisfaction is essentially PDB Collaborative’s way of being. Our guiding principles, if you will. We live it, breathe it, and show it in the way we do business. When I was appointed the “Total Customer Satisfaction” award by my peers at my previous job, I knew it was something to not only be proud of, but it would be the foundation of this company.
PDB Collaborative. Let’s build better, together.