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    How to Organize an Effective Update Meeting with Customers

    By Michael Manzo
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    Meetings with clients on a regular basis are essential for establishing a solid relationship, ensuring project progress, and enhancing customer satisfaction. This is especially significant in the realm of outsourced software development due to the software project’s complexity and the rapidly changing market. These meetings allow for the sharing of progress, the discussion of obstacles, and the solicitation of feedback and suggestions for improvement. These sessions, however, can soon become unproductive and ineffective if not properly planned and executed.

    Based on our expertise in executing several software projects of all sizes for our customers, we’ll highlight the main stages to scheduling an efficient update meeting with customers in this post.

    I. Introduction

    Before delving into the specifics, it’s critical to grasp the significance of these meetings. It is critical to keep clients informed about success and obstacles in order to maintain their trust and faith in your company. This is also one of the important principles of Agile approach. Avoid withholding any information from your customers. In fact, a lack of transparency, or even fraud, produces only negative outcomes. The update meeting also allows you to collect feedback and suggestions for improvement, which will help you better meet their requirements and expectations.

    When organizing an update meeting, it is critical to establish clear objectives ahead of time. What are the meeting’s objectives? What are your desired outcomes? A firm grasp of these goals will aid in planning and guarantee that the meeting is productive and effective.

    II. Preparing for the Meeting

    After you’ve established your goals, it’s time to start planning the meeting. The following steps will assist you in being properly prepared:

    Determine the key stakeholders and decision-makers: Who should be present at the meeting? Make sure you understand who you need to invite to the meeting so that all necessary parties are present. If someone is unable to attend the meeting, make sure you update the meeting information for them later.

    Establish an agenda and a timeline: Create a detailed agenda that describes the meeting’s objectives, subjects to be covered, and a timeline for each item. Share this agenda in advance with attendees so they know what to expect. This allows attendees to prepare questions or topics to discuss ahead of time, making the meeting go faster and more efficiently. This is also a little tip to assist clients in feeling your professionalism and respect.

    Prepare materials and data for the meeting: Gather all relevant materials and data for the meeting. Progress reports, data analysis, and other documentation may be included. Make certain that these items are well-organized and easily accessible.

    Communicate to all parties involved: Share your objectives and expectations for the meeting with all attendees in advance. This will help set the tone for the meeting and ensure everyone is on the same page.

    III. Conducting the Meeting

    When it comes time to hold the meeting, take the following measures to ensure it is productive and effective:

    Begin with a clear and concise progress summary: Begin the meeting by providing a brief overview of progress since the last meeting. Highlight any major achievements or milestones achieved.

    Discuss challenges and obstacles: Be open and honest about any difficulties or impediments that have occurred since the last meeting. Discuss how these issues are being addressed and the efforts being taken to overcome them.

    Address customer concerns and questions: Encourage attendees to ask questions and provide feedback. Respond to any issues or queries they may have in a straightforward and concise manner.

    Solicit feedback and suggestions for improvement: Request feedback and suggestions for improvement from participants. This will assist you in ensuring that you are meeting their requirements and expectations, as well as identifying areas for improvement.

    A minor point to remember in order to make the meeting more effective. When inquiries stray from the meeting’s topic, the meeting drags and becomes rambling. As a meeting leader, you must help everyone stay focused on the meeting’s objectives. Issues outside of this scope should be addressed at a later date.

    IV. Tips for Effective Communication

    Effective communication is essential for a regular update meeting. The following suggestions can aid in clear and successful communication:

    Use plain and succinct language: Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may not be familiar to everyone in attendance. Use clear and simple language to ensure everyone understands what is being discussed.

    Active listening and responding to customer feedback: Listen carefully to customer feedback and respond thoughtfully. Show that you value their input and are committed to addressing their concerns.

    Information visualization: When feasible, use visual aids or illustrations to help convey your views. This can help guarantee that everyone understands what is being given.

    V. Following Up After the Meeting

    Following the meeting, it is critical to follow up with attendees and act on any feedback or suggestions received. The following methods can assist you in properly following up:

    Document action items and next steps: Ensure that any action items or next steps identified during the meeting are documented. Distribute this information to all participants so that everyone is on the same page. We usually assign it to a member of our team to take notes during the meeting.

    Share meeting notes and materials with attendees: Distribute meeting notes and other relevant materials to all stakeholders (including those involved but unable to attend the meeting). This will assist in ensuring that everyone understands what was addressed.

    Follow up on any outstanding issues or concerns: If any issues or concerns were raised during the meeting, make sure to address them as soon as possible. This will help to demonstrate your commitment to client satisfaction.

    Schedule the next update meeting as follows: Finally, plan the next update meeting before attendees depart. This will aid in the continuation of communication and collaboration.

    VI. Best Practices for Successful Update Meetings

    Follow these best practices to ensure your update meetings are effective and productive:

    Building strong relationships with customers: Focus on building strong relationships with your customers. Show that you value their business and are committed to their success.

    Maintaining transparency and honesty: Be honest and transparent about progress and challenges. This will help build trust and confidence with your customers.

    Demonstrating commitment to customer success: Show that you are committed to your customers’ success by actively soliciting feedback and suggestions for improvement. As we do at CodeStringers, we always consider our clients’ success to be our success, and we work for them as if they were our own products.

    Evaluate and enhance the update meeting process on a regular basis: Evaluate your update meeting process on a regular basis to find areas for improvement. Solicit feedback from participants and make modifications as needed to promote productive and effective meetings.

    VII. Conclusion

    In conclusion, organizing an effective update meeting with customers requires careful planning and execution. By setting clear objectives, preparing for the meeting, conducting the meeting effectively, using effective communication techniques, and following up after the meeting, you can ensure your meetings are productive and effective. By maintaining regular communication with your customers, you can build strong relationships and ensure their ongoing satisfaction and loyalty.

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    President & Chief Executive Officer

    About the author...

    Michael Manzo has nearly than 30 years of experience managing all aspects of software development including product management, user experience and interface design, engineering, quality assurance and marketing. Michael has served as President and CEO of CodeStringers since September 2014, having served as the company’s founding Chief Product Officer from July 2012.Prior to CodeStringers, Michael was Chief Marketing, Product and Strategy Officer at Openet, a leading global provider of transactional business and operational support system (B/OSS) software for telecom and cable firms, where he led marketing, product management, strategic planning and growth initiatives for the company. Manzo joined Openet as part of a turn-around team and, during his tenure, Openet grew from $15m in annual revenue to more than $150m, became the worldwide market share leader in the company’s primary product category, and developed a widely recognized reputation as the telecom infrastructure industry thought leader.Previously, Michael was Vice President of Products and Marketing for Traverse Networks, a fixed mobile convergence enterprise solution provider, which was acquired by Avaya. Michael has also held executive positions at Voice Access Technologies, Omnisky (acquired by EarthLink), Telocity (acquired by Hughes DirecTV), and Notify Technology Corporation. Michael has a BA in Journalism from the University of New Hampshire. In his spare time, Michael is an amateur woodworker, building indoor and outdoor furniture for friends and family. Until injuries sidelined him, Michael was an accomplished triathlete, having completed six Ironman distance races and numerous shorter distance races. Michael also served nine years in the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard being honorably discharged as a Sergeant.

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