Documenting Client Communication

We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when something goes wrong at work. Your first thought is usually something along the lines of: oh no, did I mess up? Here are a few simple steps I follow to avoid any of those dreaded he said/she said situations:

1. Email Folders

I take a lot of pride in my email filing system – each client gets a folder and within those are additional folders for each job. Sometimes the volume of emails can be overwhelming so having a system helps to make things more manageable. Also, with all of these folders, I’m able to quickly find an email whenever there are questions or disagreements.

2. Follow-Up Notes

With so much communication through email these days, it’s nice to be able to speak to clients on the phone or sit down face to face. However, it’s important to create a paper trail when things are not done over email. As soon as I finish up a call or an in person meeting, I send off an email detailing the key points of the phone call and next steps. Also, I request confirmation from my clients and/or colleagues that we all had the same takeaways.

3. Get Approval in Writing

I know it drives my clients crazy sometimes and I sound like a broken record, but I ALWAYS get approval in writing. The following words/phrases, while nice to hear, do NOT count as final approval:

Looks great
Love it

After a few times of having me email “Please write back with written approval”, clients usually get in the routine of using the word “approved” and everyone’s lives become easier.

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