Top Client Interaction Tips for Instructional Designers
Many instructional designers work with a wide array of clients, and each one has unique needs, priorities, preferences, and personalities. Additionally, the companies’ clients stand apart in a variety of ways, having specific goals, expectations, and cultures that need to be factored into the equation.
As a result, instructional designers typically need to be adaptable, ensuring they can adjust to each client. Additionally, they need to take steps to remain organized, preventing any mix-ups that could harm client relationships or negatively impact results.
Fortunately, staying on target isn’t as challenging as it may seem. Here are some of the top client interaction tips for instructional designers, giving you some best practices to follow.
When you speak with clients, you never know when they’re going to drop a relevant tidbit that you’ll need to track. As a result, you need to make sure that you’re ready to take notes whenever you engage with a client, even if you expect the interaction to primarily be casual.
If you prefer, you can stick with the pen and paper approach, keeping a separate small notepad for every client. Note-taking software is another option, and you can even explore call or voice-recording options to capture the details and relisten to them to write down the information later.
Using note categorization and color coding is also worth exploring. You can annotate which points require further action on your part or their part or whether you need to coordinate with another contact or resource. That allows you to quickly see what needs to happen, which can be beneficial.
Create To-Do Lists for Clients
In many cases, instructional designers need a significant amount of information from clients. Additionally, clients may need to provide access to specific resources or take other steps to facilitate an instructional designer’s work.
By creating a to-do list for each client and sending it to them, you’re providing them with a quick reference that outlines what they need to handle. Note the required action, and list any needed delivery date to help the project stay on track. Along with keeping the client on target, it reduces ambiguity about your expectations – which can ensure reasonable accountability on their end – and reduces the odds that something will fall through the cracks.
Just make sure to update the to-do list and resend it whenever there’s a change or the project advances. That ensures new details are captured, making it easier to track the broader project.
Use Follow-Up Appropriately
Following up lets you share your progress with the client and also creates opportunities for you to get updates on what you require from them. Reach out regularly without being bothersome, and maintain a professional tone in every communication.
Lead off with the steps you’ve completed, then outline what you need from them to move forward, referencing the action steps on the client’s to-do list. Request an update if a due date is incredibly near and you aren’t sure of its status, but don’t push it too hard if there’s still ample time for the client to handle it by the day in question. That lets you strike a balance, ensuring you’re proactive without seeming pushy.
Are You Looking for More Instructional Design Tips?
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If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us today.