How to Have a Great Client Relationship — Secrets You Should Know
Congratulations, you’ve just cracked the deal and now you’ve got a list of new clients. Now, what do you do? Build worthy client relationships! Strong client relationships are much like any relationship, you can’t grow if you aren’t putting any efforts. Just like any relationship, your relationship with the client is built with actions you take over time.
Down the years, as the CEO of ProofHub, I’ve always tried and succeeded in keeping the right bond with all my clients because a good client relationship will win all the time. According to Salesforce, gaining new customers is six to seven times more expensive than maintaining current ones you already have. This holds the importance of building client relationship in all facets of a business.
Client Relationships Are the Heart of a Business
First things first. What do you mean by client relationship? As per the client relationship definition, “client relations are the relationships that a business has with its clients and the way in which it treats them. It is the way a business communicates with existing customers.” CRM or customer relationship management aims to address client relationship challenges. It is a strategy to manage the organization’s relationship and interaction with customers and potential customers.
I have a wide network of people holding a strong position in my business with whom I want to be in touch. They are meaningful to me and I make sure to maintain relationships with them. As life is getting busy, it’s important I put in the work to keep them my work up. Relationships are the beating heart of any business. The facts prove it well. Companies that provide poor customer service can lose up to $75 billion. However busy be your schedule, don’t be so busy that it ruins your relationship.
For example, if you’re running a design business, it is improbable to underrate the importance of client relationships. One way to keep the good going is to start using a Proofing tool for your design projects that cut off any mess involved in approval of the design process. From freelance creatives to in-house designers, online proofing software should be a priority for anyone.
Apart from this, people from all over the industries need to build strong relationships that drive business success? But how? That’s something I just wrote about in this article.
Building Great Relationships
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” — Jim Rohn
How to build strong relationships with clients? You simply cannot be successful without your clients. Therefore, I’d like to offer ways to build customer relationships that have been effective for me to build my strong relationship with clients.
Respect the Client’s Time
“Put yourself in their shoes.” Jesse Harrison, CEO, Employee Justice Legal Team
You’ve to respect their time. Time is one finite resource you and your clients have. Our relationships can become weak if we do not keep up with the time of our clients. How to do that? Be comfortable while talking up to your clients. In case you’re planning to meet up, don’t make them wait and better decide on early to meet at a time that’s ok for both. Show up on time, get straight to business, and be respectful. This will set the tone for the rest of the relationship.
Are you losing a track of all your clients? Start using ProofHub to organize your client list.
Treat Clients as Individuals
“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Teddy Roosevelt
Many times, we risk treating them as a group when they need to be treated as individuals. Remember, all clients are unique. Make a personal connection with your client in an appropriate way depending on your client type and personality. Just do not make them feel like a number. Like you’re giving them the same advice you disk out to everyone.
How to get it done?
- Use personalized communication
- Use the right term
- Use a segmented strategy
- Use a relevant content
Be social — online and offline
“Ease your customers’ pain.” Hazel Edwards, Owner, Gillian Roberts Bridal Boutique
Brands like Starbucks and Chipotle have a loyal following of customers that love them so much because they have managed to build a strong customer relationship. One of the best ways they do through is social media. Take in hand all your social media platforms and build a consistent presence there. Let your clients know the human side of your practice on social media.
What to take care of on social media?
- Make sure you humanize your brand and showcase your personality
- Respond quickly to create a better user experience
- Go above and beyond what customers expect
- Get proactive with your engagement
- Highlight and reward your top customers
- Shine a light on your team as well
- Build and push them towards your community
Not only social presence, but offline interaction is also just as important. Craft a unique handwritten message with a little gesture, send a gift of thank you or congratulatory message, whatever be the occasion to solidify the way a client looks at your practice.
Get To Know Each Client Like A Friend
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.” -Ken Blanchard
Does your client really like you as a person? It can be a bit hard to allow yourself to consider your client as a friend that will deepen the bond. Simply give them some time and ask how their weekend was. Suggest them some exciting activities they can do to make the most of their weekends. Soon you’ll turn your clients into friends in a meaningful way.
The Art of Great Follow-up
“Treat the customer like you would want to be treated. Period!” -Brad Schweig
You’ve got great products, intelligent team, unique services, and some loyal clients. You know your clients love you. Don’t lose them. Get into the habit of follow-up.
You can get your clients to fill up a form that answers how often they want to be bugged by you. Follow-up consistently through connecting on LinkedIn and Twitter, occasional emails without putting the client off, or offer free advice and resources. But make sure you offer value in each follow-up.
I’ve made my follow-up process simple by adding an event in ProofHub calendar. It reminds me of a quarterly follow-up with each of my clients. That way, clients don’t fall through the cracks.
Some Don’ts to Manage Client Relationships
- Don’t over commit yourself
- Don’t stretch the truth about your services
- Don’t act like a know-it-all
- Don’t venture outside of your brand
- Don’t make your client wait on you
- Don’t be rude
- Don’t be too social on social media
- Don’t talk on controversial topics
While getting to know your clients could be a hard nut to crack, but it will make quite a difference to your business, before you get into that, you should master the skill of maintaining client relationships, because satisfied clients are one who will ensure your business growth.
Client Relationship Building Skills
With that being said, the importance of building client relationship, let’s get into learning some specific client relationship building skills that you should master to win over your customers.
Many clients will try to take your patience to the brink, yet being patient is important to customers. If you’re into the habit of being patient with your customers, you will be able to better understand their problems. When they come to you frustrated, be sure to examine the situation before bursting out, else they’d get competent service.
Whether good or bad, be attentive to what your customers are saying. It is must to direct your marketing efforts in your business. Especially, when you’re looking to innovate, pay attention to individual customer interactions to learn what they really want. Be mindful to the feedback and reviews that you receive at large.
3. Clear communication skills
Miscommunication may end up you losing a deal. Make sure you’re using the right words at the right time. And always be available to talk to them that will make them believe that for you client’s project and satisfaction are important. More importantly, make your clients comfortable being open and honest with you. Try to strike the balance between professionalism and being friendly with your favorite clients.
4. Positive language
Words have the power to create a long relationship with your clients. It’s important to show a positive face to your clients. Be the one who takes the stress off your clients. While using your services or doing business with you, your conversational patterns can go a long way to create happy customers. You need to think positive first so you’ll start communicating in a positive way.
5. Time management skills
Getting the things done in less time is what will impress your client. Your time is definitely valuable. How you quantify your time is a great client relationship skill that will calculate your relationship management simple. The more time you spend with your clients you will know what customers want in an efficient manner.
What goes around comes around
Sooner or later, success comes down to understanding your customers. So always be on the lookout for improving your client relationships, else somebody will end up winning that customer one day!
Over to you
How are you building strong relationships with your client? I’d love to know your ideas and strategies in the comments below.
Have a happy relationship!
Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!” many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.