What clients love
Keeping client relationships healthy.
Any good client relationship takes time to develop. Of course, meeting project deadlines and deliverables is paramount, but it is also important to get to know your client, their industry and expectations. Here are some time-tested suggestions to help foster enduring client relationships (or any business relationship).
- Always deliver. Deadlines and commitment to schedules are foremost in building any good relationship. A client should always be able to depend upon you to meet a deadline without question and that you will always deliver your best.
- Understand your client. Keeping abreast of industry trends will help you position your company to really add value. What ongoing issues does your client face and how can you help them? You don’t have to be an expert, but the better you understand your client (company, services and industry focus) the better prepared you are to cater offerings accordingly.
- Expand your services. Our studio is sometimes presented with an opportunity to expand services in order to meet a particular client need. Additional offerings can help solidify existing client relationships and provide alternate revenue streams. Adding services, however, should be evaluated with care so as not to sidetrack your company focus, and affect attention offered to other clients.
- Respond promptly. Even if you don’t have an immediate answer, letting your client know that you received their request is good business practice. Readily acknowledging a client inquiry is a reminder that you value the relationship and are always ready to be of service.
- Pick up the phone. I tend to rely more heavily on phone and face-to-face meetings when working with a new client, especially as discussion points become complex, and when email communication becomes tedious. Incorporating an online project management tool like Basecamp or Asana can help foster regular client contact and keep communication organized. Relying on a phone call or meeting as a preference can help shed light on who you are, how you work, and build a better relationship.
- Follow-up. Make regular communication a priority. You may remember all the details of your client meeting, but always err on the side of clarification and follow-up. No matter how trivial a conversation, sending a quick email is always appreciated and, at the very least, will keep you and your company top of mind.
Clients generally prefer to stay loyal to a valued source, than spend time looking for an alternative. Aim to become a trusted partner, taking an interest in client challenges, and reaching beyond the project to develop solutions.
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