Busy office scene with people walking in foreground blurry to indicate transition

5 tips to switch gears when your client lead changes

There’s nothing better than working through the full cycle of a project and building a great, collaborative relationship with one client lead. Sometimes, though, life happens, and you find out your assigned client lead will be changing. 

Your client lead may go on a leave, get assigned to another project, switch departments, or exit an organization altogether. There may or may not be time to plan a smooth transition from one client lead to the next. So what can you do to seamlessly switch gears when your client lead changes?

Five tips to switch gears 

This change may cause some uncertainty and stress for your team, especially if the news came as a surprise. It may also disrupt your project workflow for a bit. 

Here are our tips to work through a client lead change as proactively as possible, to provide your team with clarity and maintain a great relationship with your client. 

1. Respect your client lead’s privacy regarding their leave 

  • Your client lead may share the reason they won’t be working with you anymore, or they may not 
  • Take their lead on what they choose to share and don’t ask for additional details – while you may be friendly and know your client lead well, work with the information you’re given only 
  • Show discretion when sharing the news with your team – tell your team the essential details about the transition, and keep any details your client lead asked you not to share confidential 

2. Book a call or meeting with your current client lead ASAP 

  • Your current lead will be busy planning and communicating their exit, so make sure you get on their calendar as early as possible, so there’s a bit of time to work through any project or transition details before they leave
  • Find out when they’ll be leaving their current role, and if the new client lead has already been assigned
  • If there will be a period without a client lead in place, find out who you should be connecting with in the meantime, so you’re not left without a contact 

3. Work through any potential project impacts 

  • Confirm whether your project is on hold, or if your team can continue working and billing as planned
  • Go through your contract and review the project scope, budget and timeline and where you’re at in the project life cycle
  • Determine if either a change order process or a contract amendment are needed to finish the project 

4. Document the outcome of your calls & meetings

  • Follow up calls with your client lead with detailed emails, to create a record of discussions and decisions made
  • Confirm who else in your client’s organization should be included in emails during the transition, and in the future
  • Update any project documentation necessary and share with your client lead

5. Support the transition from your current client lead to your new lead

  • Find out your current client lead’s plan to train the new client lead or hand the project over, and look for opportunities to support this transition – your client lead will appreciate your willingness to help
  • If possible, schedule a call with the current and new client leads together, for the new lead to ask questions and fill any information gaps with everyone in the room
  • Be helpful as your new client lead ramps up – anticipate questions and show your support
  • Reassure your new client lead that you’ll get the project to the finish line together 

Switching gears mid-project because your client lead changes has the potential to be very disruptive. However, if you’re proactive and supportive, you and your client will barely notice this little bump in the road. 

At Backyard Creative, we work hard to ensure all our clients have a great experience with us. Let’s get you on our client list! Get in touch today to discuss your communication design needs!