Basics For Building Strong Client Relationships
Strong client relationships aren’t built overnight. Just like personal relationships, it’s important to cultivate and nurture those with your clients. Developing strong relationships with clients leads to loyalty, positive word of mouth, and increased sales.
So how does one go about creating a foundation for strong client relationships? Below are some tips to get you started:
Know Who Your Client Is
When someone reaches out for a consultation, start researching their company and send them a"Get To Know You" questionnaire. Walking into the first meeting prepared seems like a benefit to the client but it's also a massive benefit to you.
Having an understanding of the key aspects of their organization can help keep the meeting running smoothly and the questionnaire is a great way to structure the initial part of your consultation. Be sure to ask them when their birthday is in the questionnaire so you can continue relationship building by sending them greeting cards to celebrate them.
Having a standard on-boarding process removes stress and makes things a lot easier. A standard checklist or guideline to work from will save you so much time. For example, you don't need to sit and write out each email and attempt to figure out exactly what to say and just how to say it, you would already have a template to work from.
As a part of your on-boarding process make sure to include a welcome package with a personalized greeting card as a special touch. This will go a long way in making your client feel special and show them that you value their business.
This is excellent for both you and the client because everybody is going to be on the exact same page. Having an established deadline helps because your client will know what to expect before the project even starts. Letting them know what to expect will make their (and your) lives easier.
Set Communication Expectations
Being transparent with your client is likely to make your client relationship better. Give them a timeframe as to when you normally check emails and how soon they should expect a reply. It's better to be overly informative than to have your client confused or upset. Excellent communication is key to a long standing client relationship.
Educate Your Client
Educating your client is a must. Letting them know the general process of each service they choose will help establish the tone for the relationship and clue the client in on how much time certain things take.
Never Promise Something You Can't Deliver
If you know you can't do something, don't put your client relationship in jeopardy - be sure to offer to help them locate someone who can fulfill their needs. The trick is not to say "no," make sure to always provide an alternative or to help them find someone else.
Hopefully these tips help create a foundation for long lasting client relationships for your business. The best piece of advice I have, at the very least, is to have a strategy and then as time goes on incorporate more of the items above. Subscribe to my blog for more helpful client relationship blog posts.