Turn client collaboration challenges into opportunities: Mural features and templates for consultants
October 28, 2021
The need for consultancies to introduce enterprise clients to more effective methodologies and provide category expertise has only grown since the disruptions of 2020. Fortunately, MURAL makes it easier than ever to build early alignment, receive clear feedback, and co-create solutions with meetings and workshops tailored to client working preferences.
How do we do it? Here are some common friction points in client engagements we hear over and over — both in our own sellers’ discovery process and from our Community — and the solutions we see succeed:
For getting on the same page quickly with a new client
Proving value early and getting quick wins can be huge for building a long-term engagement. But the best way to build empathy and understanding isn’t with a one-way presentation that you could recite in your sleep. Bring your clients actively into the conversation by adding a mural with interactive activities to draw out engagement from everyone on the call.
If your clients are new to visual collaboration, use custom toolbar to limit the features they have access to in this first session. For example, you can focus their options to only sticky notes, text, and images — leaving diagramming and shapes to a future session when they’re MURAL pros.
With presentation mode, you can include explanatory information on the same canvas you use to collaborate on methods and activities later in your meeting.
Try turning on private mode if you want unfiltered opinions from everyone in your meeting — it makes additions to the mural anonymous.
Share a visitor link with clients when you want to give them easy, no sign-up access to your mural. All MURAL plans include unlimited visitors.
For the client who prefers async collaboration
Even with high priority and high visibility projects, clients can be preoccupied with their day-to-day business. Finding quality calendar time can be a struggle — especially with clients located across time zones. Asynchronous collaboration can be as effective as in-person meetings when you have the right tools and facilitation strategies.
Integrations can be your friend with async collaboration. Pin your mural to wherever you and your clients connect online: a Slack channel, a MS Teams channel, or a Webex space. Get in the habit of always keeping your current murals pinned.
Try setting up MURAL’s anonymous voting feature for async collaboration. You can choose the number of votes you want to give each collaborator, select which objects you want to be eligible for votes, and even choose a specific area of the canvas to focus votes on. Then just share the link with collaborators and leave the session open any duration of time.
Comments and @ mentions allow you to ask for clarity as needed from async collaborators, so they’ll be notified to revisit the mural.
If your meetings always run over time
We all know the pain of back-to-back meetings, and no one’s ideas benefit from being rushed from topic to topic. Fortunately, there’s way more you can do with MURAL to keep conversations on track than just setting a timer (although I do recommend the cuckoo bird noise when you do).
Make sure each activity you have planned is clearly time-boxed, and do time checks regularly to ensure the collaboration is moving forward.
Add more focus into your sessions by summoning everyone to your view and using laser pointer (command H on a Mac).
Create a “parking lot” section on the mural for off-topic questions, as well as a “decisions and action items” section for documenting tasks quickly.
For hybrid meetings (with some in-room and some online collaborators)
Our belief is that if even one person’s remote, your meeting should be run like everyone’s remote. Leading meetings that are digital-first with MURAL ensures that everyone feels included and everyone’s ideas are seen.
Use a touchscreen display if you’re leading the session from a conference room. This plus asking in-room participants to use their own devices to access the mural will keep everyone on equal footing to share ideas and feedback.
If you have a group that prefers to use paper sticky notes, try MURAL Scan to automatically transcribe all the notes and sketches onto a mural where everyone can see and add to later.
Use areas and the Outline to create an easy-to-find section for Q&A so that everyone in the meeting can leave questions and feedback at the same time, and you can follow up with responses if needed for time. No need for dialed-in collaborators to wait for the right moment to speak up.
👉 Tip: we have a lot more facilitation resources for hybrid facilitation here.
For staying organized with client projects
Folders and rooms are your best friends for workspace organization. Use folders as a file system within your client rooms or project rooms. The folders and sub-folders will have the same access and permissions as the room — so all folders in a private room will be limited to collaborators with room access.
Use your content library to keep assets you plan to use repeatedly at your fingertips: everything from branding and logos to your headshots and bio.
For embedding methods with clients
When you don’t spend every meeting onsite with a client, it can be hard to drive change and introduce new methodologies. The solution? MURAL templates.
With MURAL, there are two types of templates: templates we’ve created with experts as starting points for you and templates you create and publish for your clients or teammates to follow.
Here are five more of the top templates created for consultants in our library right now:
Our templates are guides to save you time, spread best practices, and inspire your own creativity. Once you copy one, it's yours to modify and adjust to make it work for your clients and represent your own unique POV.