Communication is key!!
What is often misunderstood and confused upon is a person who is well-spoken and a person who has got great communication skills. This misconception has led industries and organizations from all over the world to hire the wrong person for the job. A role that requires you to be a great communicator is often handed over to a well-spoken person.
Moving ahead a person should first understand the clear difference between these two segments. A great communicator can be anybody with no prior education or business experience and can still explain the nooks and corners of a project/ situation/circumstance to a person who has absolutely no idea about that particular field. However, a well-spoken person is someone who has immaculate speaking abilities in any language he/she is proficient in, which doesn’t mean he/she can explain things and the other person understands listening to them at the first go. A well-spoken person projects an image of an articulate being whom everyone loves but a great communicator is often subsided as they project their image as an inarticulate person.
The above introduction about communicating your efforts is just a base for the community to understand how different and subjective to each and everyone, about how difficult the role is. A Client XP is the person who is required to be both i.e a great communicator and a person with immaculate speaking abilities and just so clubbing a well-spoken person with a great communicator requires not only years of hard work but also understanding the art of explaining a client why do they need to pay for the services and at the same time keep the business relationship to the point that they think that they are our friends and not to be confused as clients. I, for one, have understood after a very long amount of time working personally and professionally that everyone in this world likes to get their work done but goes through a plethora of doubts when it is the time to pay.
The answer to this question is very simple. Become their friend and then do everything that a friend does. Understanding their needs, pain points, talking about their family and friends, and everything social. Be social. As a Client XP there could be numerous scenarios where the project deadlines were not met, the quality of the code is not up to the mark or the developer was about to make a career shift and hence there was a loss of productivity. In all of these scenarios and many more the client whom we expect to pay for the work at the time of raising the invoice is often dismayed and saddened and hence not only do we make them unhappy but also we slowly and steadily make way for the client to retreat from the current organization. Now the big question arises amidst all the while where we were talking about a client being happy.
As a Client XP, it is again priority number one to see if the developers working inside the organization are as happy and content as the client is. The challenge starts when there is a disagreement between the client and the developers and it is finally time for the Client XP to step in and find out what caused such a ruckus and what solutions can be provided to settle the chaos. Developers work diligently on projects and at the same point cannot maintain a balance if there is any lack of congruence that might arise during the course of a project. As a Client XP, it is my job to pacify not only the client but also the developers with whom all the conflicts of choices occurred so that the harmony between the two remains.
With the above points mentioned it might occur to one the role of a Client XP as an invisible job because there is no sales or tech involved in this role but at the same time to keep a project running smoothly and then maintaining a good business relationship with the client so that they are never gone and can be re-engaged at any point in time it takes equal amounts of time just as being in any other job role would do. Apart from keeping a regular track of what is going on in the project, to fixing issues like onboarding new talents in the project to deboarding them if the client is not happy and taking numerous calls daily at the time a client is most comfortable, a Client XP also raises invoices and follows up on the payments so that the entire organization receives the end product, which is a good culture, in a box of chocolates wrapped in a golden ribbon.