Managing expectations

Post date: Jul 24, 2020 9:29:50 PM

Managing a client's expectations is a key ingredient for an healthy and successful relationship. What a client wants, in many cases, is not exactly what the client needs. And what you have, may not be exactly what the client wants. However, and our experience has taught us this over and over again, what your client needs may be exactly what you have. Confusing? Not really. It all boils down to a single thing: honest communication.

Every single localization company, every single one, regardless of their size, have a baseline where things work smooth. To the north "even smoother", the so called "relaxed" projects. To the south all manner of "try-our-best-corner-cutting-praying-beads-mother-of-all-urgencies" kind of projects. Every single company lives by this law of "localization physics". If anyone rejects this view, by all means do, by I will call you out on your BS.

So, back to where we left: honest communication.

Whenever a client proposes you something to the south of your baseline you should be honest about it. Negotiate deadlines, offer different solutions, be frank about the dangers of certain solutions. This isn't being "hard to get", this isn't being "uncooperative", this is caring. Caring about your client product and about your company reputation. The two should always go hand in hand.

If you accept a proposal that would seriously jeopardize the quality of your client's product and you communicate that openly, and its agreed, then your client can only thank you for your honesty and for risking your company reputation in order to help your client getting the product out there as far as wanted. Sometimes quality is not what your client needs, but most often than not your client will not admit that to you, unless you present to them the consequences of a certain proposal. This can be particularly icky if there's middle management that already compromised to a certain outcome without assuring that outcome was possible in the first place.

On the flip side, if the communication is always honest and everybody is on board, amazing things can be accomplished together.

Just remember the tradeoff triangle, no one can get it all:

Bruno Dias