Change is never easy, especially when it comes to working with clients. If your company is using an online project collaboration system but your clients still insist on calling or emailing you, the extra work of logging those communications can add up. Here are some good points that you can use in your argument for moving the conversation online.
1. You can be sure that no details will get lost in an email folder or with a person who is suddenly unreachable.
Of course, it might seem easier just to talk on the phone or send a quick email, but if you can get your client (and yourself) into the habit of collaborating on an online web space, then you know you can always go back there to review the discussions and ensure that no detail—big or small—falls through the cracks. The days of searching through email folders or notebooks are gone! And if one of the team members is ‘hit by a bus’ (not literally, of course!), you know that all of the information you need is available to everyone online.
2. This doesn’t mean you have to give up email.
If you’re already having a discussion in email, you can “copy” the system and ensure that all of the comments are centrally stored.
3. “If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.”
These are words from a very wise project manager. Using an online collaboration space will make it quick and simple to document details of important project discussions and the decisions that are made. It will then be much easier for anyone from the client team and the project team to pull up that information later. (Read: CYA has never been easier.)
4. It will save time, so there’s a good chance we’ll get your job done faster (and maybe cheaper!)
Switching back and forth between different systems and re-sending information takes time (which costs money). Keeping comments, notes, changes, and project requests in an online collaboration system reduces friction, which keeps teams moving as quickly as possible. That means your client might very well get their job faster, and if they pay on a time and materials basis – they might even save a few bucks.
What arguments have you given, and how have they worked for you?