Entrepreneur that enter into a service-based industry have to deal with clients on a regular basis. And your ability to keep them happy can mean the difference between the success and failure of your company. That’s right, it’s that serious. So, I took to Twitter and reached out to some awesome people. I simply asked them to share their best client management tip. And I’d like to take you through their answers in today’s (while adding my own bit of commentary, of course). Enjoy! And don’t forget to share you own client management tips in the comments section! I want to hear from you!
@_chelsei staying organized is key! Set up a weekly schedule and touch base with clients regularly to stay on the same page…
— Rachel Kline (@HighleyDesigned)
This one is a big downfall of mine. I have the hardest time keeping track of regular communication! Luckily, a bit of self-awareness helped me kick the habit. Knowing that it’s a weakness, I use tools like Nimble to help me track my engagements. Rachel is right. Keeping clients happy starts with staying in touch with them on a regular basis.
Use Their Preferred Communication Style
@_chelsei communicate with client however they like to be be reached. Email, phone, text…
— Priscilla Azzolini (@priscillaphotog)
Now, that said, some clients prefer a more hands-off approach. This is why coupling Rachel’s advice with the advice Priscilla gives here is so important. For example, I have clients that like very regular communication. I’m talking several times a week – if not every single day. Others I only talk to about once or twice a month. Some I video chat every week, others I get on the phone with, and some I’ve only ever communicated with via email.
Learn the Art of Listening
@_chelsei Listening! 🙂
— Cat (@C_Leaver)
During my full-time stint at an agency, I was amazed by how often people failed to actually listen. We communicate in a variety of ways. In person, for example, a person could say one thing but communicate something entirely different through body language. Listen to tone of voice, pay attention to their writing cadance… It seems silly, but paying close attention and actually listening could mean the difference between a long-term client and an abruptly ended contract.
Build Mutual Trust from the Beginning
@_chelsei In client relationships, mutual trust is huge. If you have a partner you can communicate with, everyone’s life and ROI is easier.
— Brian Regienczuk (@BrianRegienczuk)
All good relationships start with trust. This goes both ways; you’ve got to trust your client, and they need to trust you. When you’re an entrepreneur providing services, the people who purchase from you are more than just customers. You’ve got to build a real relationship with them. And in order to do that, you’ve got to start building trust.
Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
@chelsei__ hi Chelsei, I try to always under promise and over deliver + throw ideas their way irregularly and call as much as possible
— Craig Barker (@ImCraigB)
You’re probably familiar with the idea of over-promising and under-delivering. This is a trap that many service-based entrepreneurs make – especially in the beginning. Instead, turn that on its head. Make your promises small, then work to deliver even more.
Take Responsibility for Mistakes
@chelsei__ A: apart from doing a good job, the best way to keep clients happy is “Talk to them” – even if you get things wrong, tell them!
— Richard Carman (@richardcarman)
We all make mistakes. It’s just a part of being human. But taking responsibility for your mistakes is what makes you a professional with integrity. I know how hard it is to admit when you’re wrong. Trust me, I know. However, if you truly want to build that trust we talked about earlier, it’s imperative that you’re honest and transparent – even with the bad stuff.
Become a Well of Creative Inspiration
@chelsei__ Regularly pitch new—good—ideas. They’ll appreciate it even if it’s out of scope. If it’s good enough they’ll find $.
— Robert Marcantonio (@robmarcantonio)
I did this a few years ago while I was working as an acquisition manager. I’d always be serving up fresh, creative marketing ideas that were well beyond the scope of the project. Now that I’m on my own, it’s crazy how much that has paid off. In fact, just recently I’ve landed one of my largest clients because they remembered how I impressed them with my ideas all those year ago.
Find Ways to Always Create Value
@chelsei__ My best tip for keeping clients is to create value. Listen to them, understand their goals and apply your expertise to deliver.
— Jeremy Bednarski (@JeremyBednarski)
You should always be looking to add value. Part of that is creativity, but it can also extend into all areas of business. Find a tool that could benefit your client? Pass it along. Read an article that could help them with their administration problem they mentioned in passion? Send it to them. It’s truly amazing how providing value – even in small things – can lead to client happiness. Do you have any tips that you’d like to add to these? I’d love to hear your tricks for keeping clients happy! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!