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Bringing it all together — 3 quick tips to excel at client relationships…
Differences of perspective, if not managed effectively, can lead to differences in understanding and, worse, difficulties in a client relationship. A business is only as good as the clients it serves, and no business gets far after losing the clients it has. The key to success is building relationships that go beyond one-time projects and provide value on a consistent, on-going basis.
According to an article by Newtek on the Forbes’ website, “there’s no such thing as over-communicating”. It adds that “[c]lients depend on you to keep them informed”. Making regular communication with your clients should thus be one of your top priorities. Updating them on various projects, as well as letting them know about any bumps in the road you encounter, will also help to smoothen the process.
You can learn to excel in your client relationships by ensuring you follow these few simple rules.
Matthew Royse, a social media strategist at Forsythe Technology, writes his blog, “Don’t forget that relationships are best built face-to-face than over the phone or on a computer. Make sure that you set the scope of work and discuss desirable outcomes. Make sure you always under-promise and over-deliver.”
“You both should know what you are going to commit to. Get to know your client’s expectations and be sure you understand them correctly and comprehensively,” writes Anastasia Knyazhechenko, an account manager at Action PR, Russia.
“You should know who your client is: company, your contact person, main spokespeople, heads of different departments, etc,” adds Knyazhechenko. “Let them know you are there for them, that you are committed to delivering great work for them. Introduce yourself and get to know their preferences in communications and how they conduct themselves as professionals.”
MEET DEADLINES AND DEMANDS
Knyazhechenko adds that one should “try to announce real deadlines and never be late. Be punctual and always hit the deadline but, even better, exceed the client expectations by delivering ahead of the deadline”.
“Your client has all the rights to be demanding on the basis of the contractual agreement for the work plans and tasks,” she adds. “So you should always be ready to answer the question — ‘So what are you working on now?’ Even better, your regular reports/updates to them should pre-empt any need for the client to have to ask you this in the first place.”
Newtek adds, “‘Your word is your bond’ should be a guiding principle in all of your client relationships. When you say you’re going to do something, there should be no questions in your client’s mind that this might not be true.” By meeting your deadlines, you give your client the freedom from worry, thus building trust and clients prefer sticking with a business they can trust.”
REWARD YOUR LOYAL CLIENTS
“If you are fortunate enough to have established a long-term client relationship, it is easy to grow complacent and to focus your energy on securing new clients. That is a big mistake,” writes Newtek. Clients should be rewarded for their loyalty and receive the preferential treatment they deserve. Examples could include exclusive discounts, “reward program” offers, coupons and so on. “Be free with expressions of gratitude and look for new ways to say ‘Thank you for your valued business.’
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