Building strong client relationships and maintaining them is equally important to focus on gaining new business and revenue. There is no doubt that you have to put in the effort for the relationship to thrive and grow.
So, how do you go about building a solid, lasting client relationship? Below are seven important strategies to follow and implement in your business today.
Establish communication channels
Every client has a different preference on how they wish to be contacted. Some prefer only e-mail contact. Others prefer a text after every milestone is complete, while others require regular calls. This is the start to build strong client relationships. Remember, it is important to be proactive. Just because the client says that you can only contact them at a specific time, you can still send a text or e-mail if something urgent or unexpected occurs during the project.
Focus on Exceptional Client Communication
Be present. Be available. Depending on the business type, respond to your client within a reasonable time frame. This builds trust with the client, and they feel a sense of importance – that they are being heard.
Positive Mindset And Professional Demeanour
Be positive. When facing a client, or even communicating with them over the phone, be confident and leave all your problems aside. Be enthusiastic about their project and show interest. A client can hear it in your voice if you lack interest, and if you are face-to-face, it is critical to keep your expressions in check. Always maintain composure and show professionalism.
Adapt and Change
When you ask for feedback, clients may offer suggestions regarding communication channels, how the software is working/not working, and the project’s overall progress. Adapt where you can and own up if mistakes have occurred, but at the same time share any concerns about fulfilling objectives. Clients prefer honesty over cover-ups.
Educate Your Client
Often, you are dealing with a client who does not quite understand what you do. They may call or e-mail frequently to ask questions. The best approach to this is to explain the process to them. This will build their trust and confidence. Depending on the industry, you may send them drawings with explanations or invite them to the factory or office to show them how things work. After a project is delivered, provide training or share your broader experience by being hands-on if your client is still unsure.
To build long and lasting client relationships, it is important to remain ethical and be open. You may be tempted to avoid sticky situations or to withhold important information from the client. Stop, don’t do it. You may want to agree with everything the clients says, but most business owners will agree. It ends rather disastrously when it is time to deliver. If there is an issue, speak up and explain what went wrong and discuss a resolution.
One way to build strong and lasting client relationships is to provide more. So, a client pays you $x to deliver. What if you went just that extra mile? Your client may have expected that you will send them a report. Send them a beautifully designed one instead or include additional criteria. Add it in the end and surprise your client. Clients appreciate small value adds, and they are more likely to remain loyal and continue working with you in future projects.
Like any relationship, it takes time, patience, and trust to build strong and lasting client relationships. The more open your lines of communication are with the client, including being upfront about issues and how to provide a solution, you are committed to providing them quality.
We offer business support across a range of areas, and we’d be happy to add you to our list of long term clients. Reach out for a discussion if you’re considering support for your business.