Have any of your clients picked up and left without you knowing what went wrong? Did you think that everything was fine until you learned that your client, that you thought you had a strong relationship with, left with another vendor? Perhaps we all learn the hard way and learn there are no guarantees.
You may think all is well and dandy but soon the calls might stop and the emails are on pause. Your “predictable” work from your clients is no longer in front of you. A quiet client may be an unhappy client.
Client relationships are KEY to retention. Here are some ways to maintain and build lasting relationships with your clients:
Learn how your client likes things done = Whether it be 1 week, 2 months, or 3 years working with your client, notice their behaviors and what questions or requests they ask of you. Remember how they like things done and run with it so they will be happy with the work you provide them at the end of the day.
Communicate openly and frequently with your clients = Provide customer service to your client, like a courtesy email or call. Reach out to them and let them know the progress of their jobs without them having to keep following up with you. Don’t leave your clients out in the dark, keep them up to date on the status of their jobs.
Be vocal = Don’t always communicate with your client via email, get on the phone with them. Clients will appreciate the direct communication and, in some cases, would rather talk to you over the phone than compose an email. Your clients get busy. So be aware of the time you take out of their day.
Be prepared = Before communicating with your clients have your questions and/or recommendations ready so you can effectively communicate with them whether it be via phone or email. When reaching out to your client via email, don’t compose long lengthy emails, get straight to the point. This helps you to be more efficient for both you and your clients. The clients will appreciate you being respectful of their time.
Manage time and meet deadlines = Set up realistic deadlines with your clients. This helps set expectations on timing and delivery of their work.
Always conduct proper client decorum and be honest = Always be professional when sharing your knowledge/recommendations. If there is something you don’t agree with and you and your client don’t see eye to eye, utilize your expertise to explain your recommendations so the client understands you have their best interests in mind. Build a relationship knowing they can trust you with your work.
Create a professional balance between you and the client = Be professional yet personable with your clients. For example, tell your clients to say hi to their family on your behalf or congratulate them on their personal accomplishments outside of work. This will show that you value them as a person not just a client.
Remember that it takes TWO to maintain a well balanced business relationship. Best of luck!