Tips To Build Better Relations With Clients
It’s always a good time to consider your client relations. Moving your business forward is through clients, and better relations with clients make it easier to make the right decisions in your industry. We have compiled this article to assist you with your client relationship management.
If you’ve ever been in a client-facing position—and I bet if you’re reading this, you have—it’s pretty easy to differentiate between a good client relationship and a not-so-good one.
Good client relationships make you feel like a true partner to your client. They trust and listen to you, and you feel good about the work you do for them. As a result, your relationship builds and expands into bigger and better things through longevity, additional projects or business, or the most significant compliment—referrals to other clients.
But building a solid relationship goes beyond delivering on what your contract says, although that’s, of course, crucial. So here are some tips to help you wow your clients every day and boost your reputation as a vital partner.
How To Build Client Relationships That Last
n the following list, you’ll find actionable ways to improve client satisfaction and build mutually-beneficial partnerships, with input from PPC agency experts like Mark Irvine, Francine Rodriguez, Akvile DeFazio, and Susie Marino.
A strong agency-client relationship starts before the client even becomes one. You know that you need as much information about your client to develop a winning proposal. But the solution you come up with isn’t going to establish a meaningful connection between you and your potential client. Instead, it’s how you present that solution concerning both the business’s goals and the personalities and values of the team you’ll be working with.
- Products and services they offer.
- Target audience and the end-users of their product or service.
- Top three competitors.
- Goals, in order of importance and challenges.
- Strategies that have worked and not worked in the past.
- Software are they currently using.
- What they define as success; their “dream” outcome.
- Their future hopes or anticipations, like scaling, new offerings, etc.
- Their mission, beliefs, values, and distinguishing characteristics they’re proud of.
- What makes them different from their competitors.
- Hobbies, interests, and preferences of the individuals you’ll be working with.
Think with both sides of your brain when gathering information about your client. (Image source)
Building emotional intelligence about the team you’ll be working with will help you make communication more personalized as you move through these initial phases of your journey together.
Side note: Be prepared to answer their questions too!
This is the information you’ll be not only included in your proposal but applying throughout your actual execution and ongoing communication with your client. So take the time to internalize it to shine through organically in everything you do.
- Gather the information in person (or video):
Body language and facial expressions tell a lot. Please note what gets them excited (and not so excited). Also, be sure to send out a list of the questions you’ll be asking for in advance so the client can have time to think on answers and produce follow-up questions.
- Iterate back:
As you listen, iterate back to your client what you have interpreted so you can make sure you’re crystal clear on the information you’re receiving. Remember, incorporating the tiniest details into your proposal and execution is what will give your clients confidence that you truly understand their needs.
Have an internal templated document where you can collect all of the information you’ve gathered in one place. This gives every team member something to refer to continually, and the uniformity makes it easier to internalize.
From a project standpoint, your proposal shows what you’re going to do to achieve your client’s goals. From a relationship standpoint, it’s your opportunity to reinforce, once again, that you have a deep understanding of your client—both the business and its team members. Speak to both the client’s business goals and its employees’ more personal pain points and desires.
To do this, think in terms of “what,” “why,” and “so that.”
- The what refers to what you’ll be doing from a process standpoint.
- The why ties the process to one of the business’s specific goals.
- That speaks to the pain point it will address for its team members.
For example, We’d like to ramp up ad spend in the latter half of the month to drive more signups so that your sales team isn’t scrounging for leads. Just be sure to use language your clients used in the initial information gathering process.
This strengthens that partnership feel. You’re not just looking to drive goals, and you care about the individuals impacted by them.
4. Set Proper Expectations
In addition to laying the foundation for communication, it’s also essential to set proper expectations with clients before working on your first projects.
Some expectations you’ll want to agree on before you start working together include:
- Rates and pricing: It’s essential to get on the same page about rates and pricing before starting your first project. That way, there are no surprises when you send your first invoice.
- Project timelines: It’s also essential to discuss timelines for different types of work and expectations on timelines from both of your perspectives. So, for example, do you ask for at least two weeks lead time for any new projects? Do they have a project they need to be wrapped up in the next 30 days? What about rush jobs that need to be turned around quickly? Get on the same page about how different long types of projects will take to complete.
- Boundaries: If you have any limitations you want to set, the start of the relationship is the time to (kindly) put them. For example, do you not answer emails after 9 p.m. or on weekends? Do you require payment within 30 days of sending an invoice? Do you ask for 24 hours to respond to non-urgent emails? Whatever boundaries you have around worked together, let your client know from the get-go—and allow them to do the same.
The most successful client relationships are the ones that foster open communication. Your clients need to be able to get in touch with you, feel comfortable asking you questions and, in general, feel like you’re easy to reach and communicate with.
Do whatever it takes to foster open communication with your client. While this will look different for every customer—and every relationship—it may include:
- Regular conference calls
- Daily email updates
- Brainstorming sessions with the client and their team
- In-person meetings
The more you open the lines of communication between yourself and your client, the more comfortable they’ll feel with you—and the more likely it is that the relationship will go from a one-time client to a long-lasting one.
Keep your clients in mind when developing your marketing plan, business plan, and product/service development plan. Keep the communication lines open with your clients, and they can assist you in making your dreams a reality.
Article compiled by hughesagency.ca
Article Reference Links:
- https://www.themuse.com/advice/tips-building-managing-client-relationships ↑
- https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2021/06/21/build-client-relationships ↑
- https://www.freshbooks.com/blog/6-tips-for-building-lasting-relationships-with-clients ↑