The three rules of being the lead client contact

If you’re on a team consulting to a client, there are three rules you need to follow if you’re the client lead or the point of contact:

  1. When a client sends you a request, you need to acknowledge it right away even if you don’t know how you’re going to handle it.  You can follow up and tell them how you’re going to do it later.
  2. If you give a client a deadline and you’re going to miss that deadline, tell the client you’re going to miss it.  Don’t let it simply pass by.  Even if you’re going to miss it by an hour.
  3. If something is broken, tell the client you found it and you’re working on it.  Never let a client find a problem first and notify you.

I continue to burn through junior staff that make these mistakes.  What flusters me is that it doesn’t take 15 years in the industry to learn these things.  A smart person can do these things their first day out of college.  It just requires having your shit together.