The team next assembled in Wheaton for their meeting with their client. During the meeting, the team listened to the Medical Clinic Administrator describe the history of the Wheaton Medical Clinic and how the clinic evolved to the present. The Medical Clinic Administrator explained how he and the practicing physicians had an interest in determining their patients’ thoughts about the quality of medical and non-medical services provided by the clinic.
Upon completion of the meeting, the students were prepared to draft the confirmation letter describing their understanding of the situation, the issues they would address, their process, and what the project deliverables would be along with a timetable for completion.
In general, the purpose of the initial client meeting is to meet the client on his/her premises, learn about the history of the business, and discuss the issues of interest and concern for the survey.
All team members should be present along with the faculty supervisor.
Students should take copious notes in order that they will have a strong resource with which to write their confirming letter to the client.
The educational partner, i.e., the client, should carefully describe the history of the business and the services it provides to its customer base. He/she should be specific in outlining exactly what the purpose of the Field Study is – what issues he/she is interested in addressing.
If possible, the educational partner should have prepared a list of approximately 30-50 customers from the local community who will be individuals that should be interviewed. These individuals should meet the following criteria:
- Well known to the business;
- Reasonably long term residents of the community;
- Preferably parents with students in the local school district;
- Representative of the uses of the different kinds of services provided by the business.
The students should leave the meeting with a clear understanding of the issues to be addressed as well as a listing of individuals to be interviewed during the data collection phase. The educational partner should leave the meeting with the feeling that the issues have been clearly articulated and that the students have a good understanding of the business and its focus.