Conveying a negative message is never an easy task; however, letting customers know when a pitfall has been encountered and how the company intends to address and remediate the problem can mean the difference between keeping or losing that client. Learning how to negotiate when these circumstances intervene can help businesses to continue to flourish even in the face of adversity and can keep workers motivated as well.
Along with maintaining and adhering to project and proposal guidelines, there will be occasions when deadlines simply cannot be met, for one reason or another. In some cases, staffing levels are not appropriate to address what is needed in an adequate or acceptable fashion. In other instances, there may not be sufficient funding to see the project through to its conclusion.
Such scenarios can cause issues for companies and clients alike since the customer’s expectation is to receive the promised product on time. However, if you and your company are unable to deliver on the proposed deadlines, it is crucial the client is given an explanation of the reasons why the situation has occurred, how it will be fixed, and what alternatives or solutions can be offered in the meantime.
For example, a temporary reduction of staffing forces (such as employees being out sick) could cause a project to be delayed, but not canceled. In this situation, letting the client know the reason for the delay and when they could expect to receive the finished product could allow the customer to plan on their own end, and also gives them the ability to make arrangements (such as renegotiating the order) to address this problem accordingly.
On the other hand, a lack of funds could potentially cause a project to be canceled, which would also entail informing clients as soon as possible so that alternative arrangements could be made. Perhaps the client has another source of funding which could be allocated to complete this item, for example, or perhaps other partners of that customer could assist. In any case, communication is key when a crisis arises, and addressing the problem sooner than later can avoid negative consequences down the line.
You have been tasked with a large marketing project at your work. It was scheduled to be finished next week, but due to reduced staff (a member of your team went out on unexpected medical leave), the project has fallen behind schedule.
Part 1: Write a minimum 250-word email to your client informing them of the current progress of the project, and how you are behind schedule. Include how you plan to resolve the issue and when the project will be completed. Consider how you would convey your message by considering both the rhetorical triangle and word choice.
Save your file as ENG315_Week3_Lateproject_LastName
Part 2: Write a 2-minute message to your client as though you are following-up by phone and leaving a message. Be sure to explain your plan for follow-up and completion.
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