Working with new clients can often be stressful; it can take a lot of time and energy to meet their expectations. Modern consumers don’t hide their preference for brands that offer quality, and a great customer experience has become more important than the price and/or product in a buyer’s decision process. If you don’t build a culture within your business that’s focused on customer relationships, it’s impossible for you to lead your company towards success.
The best way to nurture and grow relationships with your clients is to practice efficient and effective client management skills, which ultimately improve their experience and ensures that you both enjoy a great working relationship. Providing the highest quality of service and satisfaction should be one of your company’s top priorities.
Establish regular communication
Make communicating with your clients your top priority. Reach out to them on a regular basis. It will ensure that you’re both on the same page and give you an insight into how the relationship is developing. It will help your client remain up to date with the project’s progress; any issues can be dealt with as and when they occur, before they escalate.
At the outset, ask your client how often they want to communicate; confirm which days/times would be good for a catch up, at their convenience.
Set goals and expectations from the outset
If you set objectives at the beginning of the project, managing client expectations will become much easier. To make this happen, make sure the goal(s)/outcome of the project is outlined at the beginning, and that both parties agree on this before the project kicks off. Ensure the discussion, particularly the points agreed, is in writing and signed by the both of you.
The benefit of this forward-thinking is that, should any changes be requested by the client, or complaints about how things are progressing, they can be reminded of the original objective(s).
Ensure that all outcomes are grounded in reality. Don’t be tempted to make promises to customers that are impossible to achieve, as this will only result in your client being disappointed. Transparency is key to building a healthy relationship.
Be honest from the get-go
If you’re honest with your client, they will know what to expect when it comes to the work you’ll be doing. If they know they can trust you, the less they’ll need to contact you just to check-in.
Engaging in smoke and mirrors tactics doesn’t work with clients today. They want to know how you’re going to do their work as well as by when. Explain at the outset how you will accomplish the required outcomes. Don’t hesitate to make clear that there may be some things you can’t guarantee (i.e. things that are outside of your control). This will help the client have realistic expectations, moving forward.
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