Sometimes service providers sit back and listen to clients’ ideas, taking it as gospel. This often results in projects not reaching their full potential. That being said, it’s very important for providers and clients to work together, bouncing ideas off of each other from the very beginning.
Working Collaboratively Sheds Old Ideas
At all stages in the deal cycle, whether in pre-study or prospecting, we have seen the benefits of working collaboratively with clients. It’s extremely important because a lot of companies have already made up their minds about mobile, perhaps from being burnt in the past, which could hinder their success.
It makes me uncomfortable when we receive a brief from a client and they aren’t prepared to budge on their original idea. Recently, what we’ve been doing is putting on workshops with the prospect to provide insights and industry benchmarks to challenge their preconceptions of mobile. We work with their business drivers to help them realize the potential of mobile.
Working collaboratively from the start is beneficial for our clients because it gives us providers a chance to ask the right questions. For example:
Why aren’t you investing in mobile?
Why have your previous mobile strategies failed?
Why are you doing what you’re currently doing in mobile?
By doing this we can better understand what our client’s business is trying to do; then we can provide the insight as to how they could work better, how their strategy could be stronger, and how we can work together using their business goals and our mobile experience to create a solution.
The result is a clearer objective, smoother project, and better results for the client. I’ve seen workshops that have completely changed a client’s perspective on the possibilities of mobile.
Work collaboratively by communicating
There are no rules dictating how collaborating should go, but it’s as easy as a simple workshop for brainstorming and sharing ideas. In the early phases it can be asking questions, sharing statistical insights and understanding user touchpoints (where and when the user engages with the app).
Ideally, we would go through a scope, design and technical discovery phase to ensure the client has a very clear idea of the project going forward. This all helps create the building blocks of a solid mobile enterprise strategy. If the client knows what they want to do, we can brainstorm around that idea; challenge the parts that might not work and benchmark competitive factors.
It’s also important to understand the metrics and results that will make the project a success. This should be agreed together based on our experience in mobile and the client’s experience of their brand.
Photo courtesy of The Hourglass Blog.
Adam Halvorsen, Business Development Manager