Button Text
Best practices

Jour fixe: From mandatory appointment to dream meeting

Jour fixe: From mandatory appointment to dream meeting
May 2024

Yes, we all have them: appointments that we have to go to even though we could really be doing something more exciting. 

Unfortunately, regular appointments such as jour fixes often end up on the list of unpleasant meeting slots. Yet a jour fixe has the potential to be a really nice and efficient appointment! 

From in-house meetings to customer jour fixes - with the right preparation, efficient execution and the right follow-up, you can get more out of your jour fixe. 

Discover the benefits, tips and simple step-by-step instructions for planning the perfect jour fixe in our article. 

What is a jour fixe?

A jour fixe is a regular meeting that serves to exchange ideas with customers or team members. In the weekly or monthly meeting, current topics are discussed, progress is shared and upcoming decisions are made together. The jour fixe meeting ensures continuity and helps to strengthen communication and relationships.

Differences between meetings and jour fixe meetings

Meetings and jour fixe meetings differ primarily in their regularity and formality. A meeting is often a planned meeting that is scheduled when there are specific topics that need to be discussed. It can be one-off or irregular. 

A jour fixe, on the other hand, is a scheduled appointment that takes place at regular intervals to discuss ongoing projects and tasks. The continuity of the jour fixe promotes structured communication and helps to maintain an overview and react quickly to changes. As everyone knows when the jour fixe is taking place, they can better prepare for it and there is a regular exchange of information.

[.b-important-block]The word jour fixe is made up of the French “jour” for day and “fixe” for “fixed” or “fix”. In other words, a “fixed day”. This is probably also the origin of the fact that many people actually use the wrong spelling “Jour fix”. Abbreviated to “JF”, this can no longer happen in meeting invitations. Jour fixe is pronounced: “Schur fix” - the trailing “e” is therefore silent.[.b-important-block]

[$tag]💡 How do you pronounce Jour fixe?[$tag]

Why a regular jour fixe is important?

In addition to all the AI topics, innovative production solutions and technical aids, it is important to maintain personal contact with your customers. With a regular meeting, you create a reliable basis for communication and ensure that both sides are always up to date.

The advantages of a jour fixe:

⭐️ Recognize customer wishes more quickly and respond to them individually

⭐️ Eliminate misunderstandings early on and strengthen trust

⭐️ Build a long-term partnership based on transparency and openness

⭐️ Become a team with your customers and leave the typical “customer and contractor sides” behind you

[.b-related-article]Organize meetings with a template[.b-related-article]

Projects for which a regular meeting is useful

A jour fixe with customers is worth its weight in gold, especially for long-term projects. 

Imagine you're working on a major marketing campaign that will last for months. You want to stay on the ball and make sure that everyone is always up to date, don't you? This is exactly where the jour fixe comes into its own. 

Or in software development - there are always updates and new features. Without regular dialogue, you quickly lose the overview. 

And then there are events. Planning an event is a huge job! Checking locations, organising catering, keeping the promotion running - a weekly jour fixe helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

In addition to customer projects, remote teams also benefit from jour fixes. Regular meetings are used to discuss current topics and promote team cohesion

In short: wherever teams work closely together and goals are moving, a jour fixe is a real ace up your sleeve.

[.b-important-block] Ongoing projects within agencies and consulting firms are often billed as retainers. A monthly flat rate is set for which the contracting company pays a certain hourly rate or project scope. This often blurs the boundaries of individual areas in retainer projects, new tasks are added and a long-term collaboration is established. In addition, projects on a retainer basis often involve several team members. This makes it all the more important to bring everyone up to the same status quo in regular meetings.[.b-important-block]

[$tag]💡 Jour fixe for retainer projects[$tag]

How can the jour fixe be helpful and full of content?

Good preparation and effective implementation are crucial for a successful jour fixe. 

Firstly, set clear objectives for the meeting. What should be discussed? What results do you expect? 

Prepare an agenda and share it with the participants in advance so that everyone can prepare. 

Be attentive during the jour fix and lead the discussion in a targeted manner. Active listening is important in order to respond to customer wishes and avoid misunderstandings. 

Keep the discussions on track and make sure that everyone has their say. 

Make sure you clearly define and document all tasks and responsibilities so that everyone knows what needs to be done after the meeting. 

In short: structure, communicate openly and follow up, then your jour fixe will become a real success tool.

6 steps for planning and managing a customer jour fixe
Use this checklist to plan out your next jour fixe.

Factors that make jour fixe meetings unpopular

A regular meeting can quickly become unpopular if it is poorly prepared or perceived as a waste of time. 

Common factors are:

❌ Lack of an agenda

❌ too many unstructured discussions 

❌ the lack of concrete results 

If participants feel that their time is not being used effectively, their motivation to attend decreases. In addition, a structure that is too rigid and does not allow flexibility for spontaneous topics or discussions can make the jour fixe unattractive. The lack of follow-up on tasks and decisions also contributes to the meeting being perceived as useless. 

It is therefore important to plan and moderate the jour fixe well and ensure that it offers real added value for all participants.

Carry out customer jour fixe correctly

1. Create clarity about goals and agenda

In order to manage a successful jour fixe with customers, it is essential that you create clarity about the objectives and agenda from the outset. Firstly, define what you want to achieve with the meeting. Is it updates on the project status, clarification of open points or strategic decisions? 

Once the goal has been set, create an agenda. This should list all the topics to be discussed and include an estimated time for each topic.

Inform all participants about the agenda in advance so that they can prepare. A well-thought-out agenda helps to keep the meeting structured and efficient.

⭐️ Bonus point: It shows your clients that you value their time and work professionally. ⭐️

2. Invite participant and set date

The first invitation for the regular meeting is of course super important. Find a suitable date with the project team and include all the relevant information in the invitation so that everyone knows what it's about. 

However, the recurring appointment invitation should also always include the relevant agenda and briefly summarise the purpose and desired outcome. This way, substitutes and new colleagues can also quickly and efficiently join your jour fixe structure. 

3. Preparation of documents or presentations

When you are preparing for a jour fixe with customers, it is important that the information you want to share is prepared in a presentable way. Whether this is a project timeline, a ticked-off task list or a presentation depends on the project in question and your way of working. 

As you already know the objectives of your meeting, structure the content to be discussed accordingly.

Do you need approval for a draft? Set the status of this task to ‘Feedback required’ so that it is immediately visible in the JF and won't be forgotten.

⭐️ Tip: Are you not the only person who needs to prepare or bring something? Then make a note of this in the appointment invitation. Precise instructions help to ensure that every participant can prepare well. ⭐️

4. Maintain structure and schedule in the meeting

For a smooth JF, it is important that you have the structure and schedule under control. Based on the agenda, you can already see which topics need to be discussed and you can work out how much time is needed for each item. 

⭐️ Tip: Ask the participants at the start of the meeting whether the agenda is suitable or whether they would like to add anything. If a participant is constantly thinking about a topic that must not be forgotten, it is difficult to concentrate on the meeting. Therefore, collect all aspects directly and clear your head. ⭐️

Use the agenda to guide you through the meeting and stick to the plan as best you can. This shows that you take the schedule seriously and respect your customers' time

But stay flexible in case something comes up - that's not the end of the world either and off-topic discussions often lead to new, exciting ideas.

5. Follow-up of the meeting

A good jour fixe with customers doesn't end when everyone leaves the meeting. The follow-up is just as important to ensure that all points are implemented. Minutes should always be taken to record all points discussed, decisions made and tasks assigned. Send the minutes to all participants promptly so that nothing is forgotten.

  • Take notes: Write down everything important during the meeting so that no details are lost. 
  • Create a to-do list: Write down all the tasks that were decided during the meeting, including deadlines and responsibilities.
  • Keep minutes: Record decisions and discussions in minutes that you send to all participants afterwards.
  • Use tools: Use project management tools to assign tasks and monitor progress.

This allows you to maintain an overview and ensure that the results of the Jour Fixe are implemented.


6. Dealing with difficult situations or criticism

No amount of preparation can prevent things from getting heated. Dissatisfaction or disagreements simply happen sometimes in the customer project business and can make the jour fixe tricky. It is therefore important to learn how to deal with them properly. 

  • Stay calm: Take a deep breath and keep calm. This will help you keep a clear head.
  • Listen to them: Give your customers your full attention. People often just want to be heard.
  • Show understanding: Confirm that you have understood the problem and show empathy.
  • Stay solution-orientated: Think in terms of solutions, not problems. Think about how the feedback can help improve the service.
  • Express your thanks: Say thank you for the feedback, no matter how critical it is. It shows that your customers' opinions are important to you.
  • Follow up: Discuss how and when you will address the points raised. This makes the customer feel taken seriously. 

These steps will help you master even difficult conversations with flying colours.

Use templates for jour fixe

The weekly or monthly jour fixe has to be prepared every time, that's clear. Templates are worth their weight in gold to ensure that this is done quickly and you don't have to plan too much time. With a good template, you can ensure that all the important points are discussed and nothing falls by the wayside.

Create a template that contains the following points to be filled in: 

✅ Agenda

✅ Objectives of the meeting

✅ Minutes of the last meeting 

✅ Space for notes

This will give you a structured approach and create a clear framework for your discussion. And remember: the template is just a framework. Adapt it to the needs of the project so that every jour fixe is really productive. 

Also use the template to record the results, assign tasks and plan the next Jour fixe. This keeps everything flowing and you can focus on what's important: your customers.

Prepare a jour fixe with awork

Project planning, task management, timeline, minutes and follow-up tasks - there's a lot going on. You get the best project organisation with a suitable project management tool that combines everything. 

awork tasklist to manage jour fixes
Use an awork project to plan and manage the jour fixes. Bonus: If you use awork Connect your customers can work with you directly in the project.

In awork, you have the option of organising your setting in a way that best suits your workflow. A separate project for the jour fixe? Quickly show the project timeline in the jour fixe and view the task status using clear colour coding? Easy! 

Discover the many advantages that awork brings to project planning, team management and client management. 

[.b-button-primary] Curious? Try awork for free! [.b-button-primary]

About the author
Talent Acquisition Lead
The bear-strong Panda update is here, bringing one of the most frequently requested features to life: a new task level, or more precisely, real subtasks.

os US citizens would stop consuming from a business after it experienced a cybersecurity breach