Thurs 14 Dec 2023 11:00am UK time

Walking the tightrope of overservicing is a tricky balancing act for a client services director. But it’s something that Liz Hemes and her team at 383 Project have been trying to master.

So much so that Liz and her team have honed a strategic approach to overservicing where they proactively go the extra mile to fulfil client needs, while maintaining a careful balance to protect their margins.

Using a detailed tracking system, they make sure to highlight the extra work they do and encourage a give-and-take relationship, helping to build stronger and more productive ties with clients.

“Previously, project managers had a leeway of up to 5% to spend on clients,” says Liz. “But that was a bit too rigid. It sometimes led to negative investments, where they would end up overspending without seeing reciprocal value.”

Sticking rigidly to the Statement of Work can sometimes prevent your team from doing simple things to delight the client.

“In some cases, bad decisions can get made when you’re just trying to protect your margin,” says Liz. “For example, we might have included an online presentation to a client – but then we’ve found out that the CEO will be there, so we’ll decide to make that face-to-face and take the team, even though we didn’t quote for that.”

And nursing a margin can lead to a reactive relationship.

“You want to avoid creating bad behaviour whereby, rather than just, ‘That will only take us half an hour an hour, let’s just give it to the client’, you start saying, ‘Well, that’s not in the SOW, so they can’t have it.’”

This is a fascinating discussion that really strikes at the heart of client services.

  • How do you make sure clients know when you’re going the extra mile for them?
  • Understanding margin erosion and how to prevent it.
  • The role of project managers in maintaining the balance between margin and value.

Join us for this discussion with Liz and other client services leaders, where she unpacks her approach to ‘strategic overservicing’ – and we give you the chance to reflect on the best strategy for you.