Is Your Project Management Software Improving Customer Experience?

ball-563973_640We typically think of project management software as being an internal issue – it works behind the scenes. But on closer examination it becomes clear that the effects of great project management software are felt throughout your business, including on the client end. If you have the right software and it’s being implemented correctly, your customers will be able to tell.

Customers value companies that use great project management software. Here are 4 ways they can tell you’re getting things right, even if you never mention your digital support system.

Descriptive Dashboards

A great project management dashboard offers support as you enter your time, allowing you to assess the status of different project components, follow up when needed, and get moving on the rest. When it comes time to update clients, a detailed project dashboard is a great tool.

Screenshot your detailed dashboard with its colored indicators, bullet lists, and status bars and include it with your report. This allows project executives on the client end to see the many ways you’ve been at work on their task. Often, the customer will be more responsive to this visual aid than to an elaborate report.

Some companies prefer to give ongoing dashboard access to their clients, allowing them to follow-up at any time. To do this, you’ll need to be able to manage program permissions. By restricting permissions, your customers see only their specific project progress, filtering out other work you’re doing. In a world where we expect constant contact and immediate fulfillment, this can be a great customer service tool.

Building Trust

Before project management software, project teams needed to be manageable in real time. You couldn’t easily bring ten people together, even on a complex project, without breaking the group down to some degree. You met in subcommittees or just kept the team smaller. With project management software, however, companies can assemble the dream team for any project. Collaboration is now much easier.

Project management software encourages collaboration by improving communication and expanding meeting capacities. Your software programmer lives in another state? No problem; they can still work on the project and meet with the team through built-in video streaming. When you centralize brainpower with project management software, you do your customers a great service.

Beating Backlogs

Companies with great scheduling practices, early adopters among the digital calendar set, for example, have been creating optimal work schedules for many years, but there remained gaps in their scheduling capacities. Project management software, however, has the additional tools needed to beat project backlogs.

When building a project schedule, these tools not only allow you to see the distribution of staff, ensuring they can complete projects by the deadline, but these tools also account for other timeline issues – will you need to order materials? If so, when will they arrive?

Extra time needed for a project due to material availability, testing time, or other lags can easily go unaccounted for in old schedules. That’s how backlogs appeared. Project management tools can handle inventory or other internal issues alongside scheduling, a capacity that otherwise can be hard to align with your work calendar.

Embracing The Omnichannel World

Perhaps the most valuable tool to emerge from project management software’s wide adoption is improved company-customer interaction derived from omnichannel supports. Omnichannel support essentially means that customers can easily contact your company through multiple channels at once. Project management software supports this process.

Great omnichannel support should include features like live chat that are integrated into your software, as well as perhaps less well integrated options, like social media interactions. It may even include video chat for active clients inquiring about project status or for facilitating meetings about such projects. However the client wants to contact you should be an easily accessible option.

Project Management – Benefiting Both Sides

It’s time for companies to break out of the mindset that says project management software is an internal concern. You customers can tell when you’ve got great project management software; and now more than ever, that software is developing features to serve customers as well. From restricted dashboard access to live chat, your customers can actively participate in – or at least observe – the daily goings on with their projects, and that’s changing the face of how we do business.

About the Author

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship.

Article source: http://customerthink.com/is-your-project-management-software-improving-customer-experience/

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