Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Conference Reports

Part six of our series may not cover the most exciting aspect of good client service, but a necessary one - and not for the reason most people think. Many regard conference reports as insurance policies or even "gotcha" documents during times of disagreement. If someone can hold up a piece of paper to prove someone misremembered something three months earlier, then that's when conference reports can come in really handy. I'm not sure that holds up very well. Sticking an old conference report in your client's face to prove you are right, can often help you win the battle, but you'll likely lose the war. You can learn quickly that simply being "right" isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Conference reports have a much more practical and useful purpose, and that's to keep everyone on the same page if you will, while your project is in progress, not something to pull out of a folder when it's too late. Written conference reports can and should provide clarity for both you and your client. Use them positively and consistently, and you'll reap the rewards for it.

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