In order to run a successful services business, you need to attend to your clients and keep them happy. There are numerous ways to do this, from being responsive during working hours to being organized so that you can be their go-to resource. Your business will only be as strong as the clients who are happy to pay you to work for them. Here are three ways to improve and manage your client relationships.
Practice Open Communication
Communication is key to any successful relationship and your relationships with your clients are no different. According to Business.com, you should keep in touch with past clients on a regular basis. Find out if they’re in need of your services again – they may not even realize that they could use your help. This is also a good thing to do every time you change or expand your specialties. Also make sure to be available to current clients during normal work hours, at the very least. Make sure to respond in a timely manner and unless you’ve warned them beforehand that you’re going to be unavailable, never be out of reach for too long. Every client should be made to feel like they’re your most important one. Lastly, if you make a mistake or have to break some bad news, do so as soon as possible. Don’t beat around the bush, just get straight to the point. Clients will value your honesty even if they’re not thrilled with what you’re saying. This is a great way to build trust.
Carefully Plan Detailed Projects
According to Fresh Books, when your potential or current client asks you to get started on a quote or project, it’s important that you get a clear idea down on paper first. The more detailed, the better, for both you and your client. If your client gives you a lot of specifications, be sure to include them in your outline. The outline should include every step of the process, plus objectives and deadlines for each goal along the way. Both you and your client should look over the outline together to make sure that you agree with everything. This is integral to staying on track and preparing your client for what they should expect. At this point, you can also discuss pricing and the best way for you to get paid. If you have a lot of projects or clients to juggle, consider getting a virtual bookkeeper to keep track of the logistics of your projects. Outsourcing something like bookkeeping will also free up your time to focus on more important aspects of your job.
Familiarize Yourself with Their Company or Industry
It is a great idea to put some time into getting familiar with your client’s company, brand or industry. This is a good thing to do prior to your first meeting with them. You’ll also want to keep up with what’s happening at their company as you work with them. This will put you in a good position to determine their needs and offer additional services if you think you can help them. You don’t need to become a total expert in their line of business, but being familiar with what they do, industry terms and trends will help you provide them with better service. It’s also important to be able to keep up during conversations and meetings when your client talks about something that’s happening at their company or when they refer to a big change in the industry.
If you run a services company, the success of your business depends greatly on your clients. This is even more important if you’re just getting started. Your primary goal should be becoming a trusted, valuable part of your client’s life or business.
Guest Blog By @ Lewis Robinson