Building a longlasting relationship with your clients is crucial if you want repeat business. Landing a new client is one thing, but keeping them depends on how you communicate with them. Building relationships takes time and effort. Every email, every phone call, and face-to-face will determine the future of this relationship.
Unfortunately, in today’s business climate, we constantly hear about not-so-above-board dealings between companies and clients. A bad reputation is hard to repair. Now, more than ever, honesty and integrity are of upmost importantance in your business dealings. An unhappy client can spread his or her experience very easily, especially with social media and your reputation can be damaged in an instant. Every client/customer is like a live walking advertisement for your company.
In our economic enviroment, there is more and more pressure to cut overhead, but this may cost your business in other ways. If a customer/client has a less than desirable experience as a result of your cost-cutting is it really worth it? Of course some trimming is unavoidable, but there is a fine line between cutting costs and hurting your business.
Running a business is not easy nor for the faint of heart. But with constant positive communication, you can maintain and grow your business to the size you’d like it to be and still be fullfilling and prosperous. Here’s a few tips for effective client communication:
1. DON'T RUSH IT
If this is a new client meeting, make sure you find out as much as possible about their company before meeting with them. Ask the right questions about their business and vision. Don’t make assumptions about your client. If you think you know what they want without having key conversations, you aren’t communicating effectively. If this is an existing client, take some time to review their recent projects and find out what you can do to reaffirm their goals.
2. PLAN WELL
Before you meet with your client make sure you are up-to-date with your company’s products and services. If the client brings up a new concern, you’ll be prepared to show you can service their needs in a greater capacity.</p>
3. HAVE CURRENT CONVERSATIONS
To avoid communication failure, make sure you’re interacting with your clients on a regular basis and not sporadically. Schedule time on your calendar to meet or talk with them. Refrain from being too reliant on email communication. Set up a phone call or a face-to-face meeting to make sure both parties are on the same page and nurture the relationship.</p>
4. TAYLOR YOUR COMMUNICATIONS TO THEIR PERSONALITY
Every client has a unique personality. Some are outgoing while others keep personal things to themselves, so guage how to keep conversations comfortable. You don’t always have to talk about business with them, but being too personal is not always a good thing either. It’s also advisable to avoid using too many industry terms. Don’t fall into the trap of not fully explaining what you do or why you are recommending a certain approach. You want your client to have enough information to make informed decisions.</p>
5. GET FEEDBACK
Don’t be afraid to ask how you doing. Be open to their honesty and take them seriously. Thank them for their feedback and let them know you are striving to be a trusted advisor and partner and exceed their expectations.