Beyond completion: The art of going the extra mile with deliverables

Inspirational quote: Go the extra mile. It's never croweded.

As an investigator or researcher, it’s easy to get caught up in simply answering client questions, meeting deadlines, and checking tasks off our to-do list. The true mark of excellence, though, lies in going beyond the bare minimum and delivering work that exceeds expectations. We can do that by “going the extra mile” and delivering something that will wow our clients.

Going the extra mile means more than just completing the project. It involves a proactive mindset, attention to detail, and a genuine desire to provide exceptional value. Investigators and researchers who consistently go the extra mile with their deliverables are often recognized for their commitment, reliability, and ability to make a meaningful impact. You become not just an order-taker, but a trusted adviser, which translates into more work from existing clients and more referrals.

How can investigators and researchers go the extra mile with their deliverables? Here are just a few strategies to help you get there:

Anticipate Needs
Look beyond the immediate requirements and try to anticipate how you can make your client’s life and work much easier. Identify potential roadblocks or areas for improvement, and proactively address them. That means identifying their real questions, not just the questions they thought to ask. Find out why they need the information and what they will do with it. Then you can focus on your client’s actual needs.

Attention to Detail
Carefully review your report to ensure it’s polished, error-free, and exceeds quality standards. Pay close attention to formatting, grammar, and overall presentation. Verify all data, and make your reports easy to read by including lots of white space and distilling and summarizing your findings. And make sure you’ve asked your client how they want results reported. Some may want all the details, while others need just a top-level summary.

Continuous Improvement
Seek out feedback and opportunities to learn and grow. Reflect on your work and look for ways to streamline processes or enhance the final product. Did you solve your client’s information problem? Where did you waste time or budget? What parts gave you the most trouble, and how can you overcome those roadblocks to excellence?

Exceed Expectations
When possible and appropriate, go beyond the scope of the original request or deliverable. Identify ways to add value, such as providing additional insights, resources, or creative solutions. Make your deliverable decision-ready by including recommendations for next steps. Sometimes it’s the little things like explaining problems with the data.

Communicate Effectively and Follow Up
Keep clients informed, address their concerns promptly, and maintain a positive, collaborative attitude throughout the process. Their questions don’t mean you haven’t done your job; perhaps they just need some clarity. Finally, make sure you let them know what to do about any unanswered questions, and offer to update the report if needed.

Going the extra mile with your deliverables can sometimes be challenging, since it requires additional time, effort and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. In today’s competitive business environment, going the extra mile is not just a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity for investigators and researchers who want to stand out and make a lasting impact.

How do you go the extra mile with your deliverables?



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