5 Ways Project Management Software Boosts Your Transparency with Clients
by Jarno Koopman on February 17, 2021
Updated on February 22, 2023
Improving the customer experience is something we’re all after. Depending on your industry, you can go about this in a variety of ways. However, the use of project management software is always beneficial, no matter the size of your organization. It's all about a tried-and-true method to improve customer experience and to audit the customer journey from start to finish, from the sales, marketing, and customer service segments.
But by and large, no matter what steps you are talking about to enhance your client’s experience, most will fall under the same theme-
If you’re using project management software, you might not know that you can leverage certain platform features to boost transparency and win the trust of your clients. Here are 5 ways project management software can improve transparency with your customers and ultimately, their experience working with you on the whole.
1. Client portal
The easiest road to promote transparency and utilize the other tips on this list is to provide your customers a certain amount of digital access to the project. A client portal is not offered by all project management solutions, but it really should be, especially for more expensive and complex projects i.e. software development, architectural planning, etc.
"By using the client portal of your project management software, you can pick and choose what your customer will see during the different phases of the project journey."
Providing your customer with a login and granting them access to data on the projects they’re paying for goes a LONG way in earning trust. And when you earn trust, you can often retain customers for life. Make sure whatever you’re using for project management provides a client portal for the ultimate in transparency.
2. Financial dashboard
Ideally within the client portal, giving your customers access to a financial dashboard is the next step in promoting a high level of transparency from your organization. A financial dashboard is absolutely critical for project managers, but when visible to clients, acts as a hallmark of fiscal trust.
While quality and task information are important aspects of managing a project, clients always keep the bottom line close to their hearts and their wallets. With budget vs actuals readily visible on an intuitive financial dashboard, your customers can rest assured knowing their money is being spent wisely and timely. No need to shout, “Show me the money!” Not when clients can see it in a couple clicks…
3. Predictive analysis
Predictive analysis is a function of AI that like #2, can help you keep your eyes on the money. The best project management software options should have some level of predictive analysis for budget and contract management. It works like this:
Based on your contract and budget, your software will be able to learn when and if a project will go off rail based on data gathered from your time tracking, time and expense, and invoicing. For managers, on a more minute level, predictive analysis can even alert as to who is spending too much time on what and what specific tasks are in danger of putting the project over budget.
"For customers, having access to this information shows that your organization has a higher level of openness, that you want them to be 100% confident that they know what’s happening (and what could happen)."
AI analytics provided by a project management solution is an excellent tool to reduce customer churn and keep everybody in the know. On both sides of the project.
4. Invoice monitoring
Customers LOATHE inconsistent invoicing. If you’re using a spreadsheet to track your invoices, you’re missing the mark. People don’t really think about invoicing as a way to improve transparency and the customer experience, but it’s a fantastically easy little thing that can make a big difference. Of course, invoicing in and of itself is not an easy little thing, but with a good invoice monitoring system, automation can be your best friend. Ipso facto, it’s going to be easy! A stellar invoice monitoring feature with project management software should offer:
- Smart invoicing (aka automated)
- Invoice tracking
- CRM integration
- Accounting software integrations
- All types of invoice payments: retainers, installments, etc.
When you leverage invoice monitoring, you’ll do less work, while your customer will know exactly when to expect their invoice. No surprises? Always a win for building trust.
5. Task boards
Not all clients want to be uber involved in the day-to-day happenings of their project. Others want to be so involved, they practically feel like a team member… and that can be a great thing! When a customer feels they are part of the team, they can provide more insights and empathize with other team members working toward the same goal.
For this type of customer, sharing task boards within your project management platform can help them see at a granular level what is being accomplished. And if they’re really active in the process, they might even be taking on some of these tasks themselves.
Just remember, not all project management solutions offer task management, and not all task management platforms can manage the totality of your project. Be sure to know the difference between project management and task management if you’re shopping for a new solution. And share task boards with those special clients that want to be involved at a more detailed level.
Why promote transparency with project management software?
For PSOs, transparency has never been so important to getting those high-value clients and keeping them. Now you know that your project management software is an easy, effective avenue to make it happen. As Mark Van Leeuwen echoes in Marketing Technology Insights:
"In an Agency, time is the product and employees the assets. A PSA with real time insights provides the ability to manage revenue strategy, adopt new models, predict outcomes and handle complex demands You can gauge the accuracy of costs and sales and stay on top of cash flow as well. As an example, a PSA routinely delivers an 8.4 percent improvement in projects completed on budget."
The author here highlights a bit of what we discussed, specifically predictive analysis and financial dashboards. Note that Van Leeuwen cites PSA (Professional Services Automation) software instead of project management software. If you don’t know, PSA software is project management software that’s designed specifically for services businesses, and thus fitting to our discussion.
So it should be no secret by now-- you can leverage awesome PSA software to not only manage your projects, but help engender a heightened level of trust and empathy with your clients. A win-win!
Looking for Project Management Software with the best benefits and smart features? Try PSOhub today, for free.