A successful relationship with your client is a surefire way to be in business now and long into the future. To build and maintain these relationships, you’ve got to take steps to not only deliver excellent customer service but deliver it in such a way that you can distinguish yourself from your competitors.
Here are six ways to optimize for successful client relationships while building your business.
- Understand your role within the relationship.
Your clients are coming to you in order to fulfill a specific need in their businesses (B2B) or in their lives (B2C). Your role is to help them with solutions tailored to their needs – and that is where the primary emphasis should be. To expect your client to send you dozens of referrals and be a partner in growing your business is asking too much. They are hiring you based on your expertise and your position. Make sure you keep their needs as the focal point and not your own needs.
- Seek out the right customers.
It seems counterintuitive, but marketing to anyone at all who would hire your company is no way to run your business. There’s a fine line between being open to new opportunities and spreading yourself too thin or into too many markets or directions. Be very clear and specific about who you work with and why and you can minimize future problems with your clients and your business.
Disorganization on your end can spill over into your client relationships. Keeping your ducks in a row will not only make you more efficient and lower your costs to deliver, but will ensure that your product really is as great as you designed.
- Maintain communication at all times.
Nothing is worse than paying someone for a project and then being left in the dark. Keep lines of communication open from the first phone call through, thru the punch list, right to the sign-off of the project’s completion. Use a project management system to keep things organized for everyone involved.
- Use the right type of communication.
When you’re working with your clients, keep in mind that your level of knowledge about the subject might be far above their understanding. Speak in simple terms and communicate about your work from the same level of expertise as your client has, even if that means communicating from a beginner’s mindset. Use less jargon in your communication so that your clients understand what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
- Listen, listen, and then listen more.
No matter what type of product or service you offer, you can’t help your client unless you listen to their needs. If you can understand your clients’ needs and then find the way your solution fits those needs, you’ll go a lot further with them as your clients. Services to help you survey your clients abound, and are either cheap or free.
With these six keys, you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of your clients and keep them with you for the long term.
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)
Courtney’s research for Pacific Business Centers focuses on tracking emerging office space trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and the future of work trends.