Tips for building strong client relationships
Show Clients You Care
What’s the most valuable asset to your business? Your equipment? Your employees? The building itself? Those are all pretty valuable, but chances are good that there’s one other asset your business couldn’t exist without.
It’s your clients. Specifically, it’s your relationship with those clients.
Building strong client relationships takes work. Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that “satisfied” is the same as “loyal.” It’s not. If you’re fulfilling orders on-time and putting out quality products, your customers are probably satisfied. That doesn’t mean that they’re loyal.
Building a strong relationship goes beyond delivering on what your contract says, although that’s of course crucial. Here are some tips to help you wow your clients every day and further boost your reputation as a strong partner.
There's no one-size-fits-all client relationship
It’s easy to view your clients as one big group who all want the same things. The truth is, though, that each of your clients has specific needs and concerns. The fastest way to ruin a relationship is to ignore those unique needs.
Make your clients feel special by focusing on things that are specific to them. This will help you build loyalty in the relationship and earn their trust.
Clients also feel close to those who address them personally and actively work to nurture a relationship with them. Connect and communicate with your clients using their names and know their preferences, likes, dislikes, etcetera and what matters to them.
Ask for feedback
If your client tells you that everything is fine with their orders and/or their service, that’s a surefire sign that everything is not fine. There could be an issue that they just don’t feel like dealing with at that moment. Or they may be satisfied with your service, but not overly enthusiastic about it.
Either way, you have work to do to develop that client relationship. The best way to start is by asking them for specific feedback about their partnership with your business. Ask things like:
- What could we do better?
- What do you like about working with us?
- How can we help you grow your business?
They’ll appreciate that you took the time to ask for their opinion. And their answers may help you learn some new things about your business.
Make yourself available
This is such an easy step to implement, but so many businesses fail at doing it. Remember: communication is a two-way street. So many businesses only talk to their clients when the client initiates the conversation. If the client never calls, businesses assume that they’re satisfied.
The truth is, your clients probably want more from you and just aren’t telling you. You could be missing out on opportunities simply because you’re not asking about them.
If you truly care about someone, helping that individual whenever you have the power to do so will never be something hard for you. From useful tips to foolproof advice, there are many simple ways you can employ to provide help to your clients and make them feel they are important to you.
When you’re in the neighborhood, it also never hurts to ask to stop by for a quick hello, a tour of the office, or a chance grab lunch (taking into consideration their busy schedule).
One of the best ways to help build a strong relationship with a client is to develop a reputation as a professional who delivers exceptional results. Give yourself the opportunity to completely impress the client and position yourself as someone they would like to continue to work with.
Consider your client and determine what would be valuable to them. It could be as simple as delivering the project in an aesthetically pleasing format, hand-delivering the materials and giving an in-depth demonstration, or including a small value-adding feature that enhances the finished results. The key is to find the opportunity to go above and beyond in a manner that your clients will appreciate.
Don't just be all business
Yes, you were hired to complete work of some sort, and a huge part of a successful client relationship is about getting that work done—and well. But strong client relationships that grow and withstand setbacks are built on genuine connection, not just transactions.
Clients are people first and foremost. When you treat them as such—and not just as vehicles to hit your goals or make money—you instantly make yourself stand out from the pack.
Good client relationships make you feel like a true partner to your client. They trust and listen to you, and you feel good about the work you do for them. As a result, your relationship builds and expands into bigger and better things, either through longevity, additional projects or business, or the biggest compliment—referrals to other clients.
About Plow Networks
Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, Plow Networks is a Total Service Provider (TSP) with several distinct business practices that, when consumed together, offer our clients a unique, best-in-class experience. We give organizations peace of mind, valuable time back and the economies of scale that come with having one technology partner that is focused on exceeding their expectations with every engagement.