The importance of strong client relationships15 Jul 2021
In the world of business, building relationships with your clients is essential. It allows you to increase sales, and more importantly, to keep the customers you have (reducing future expenditures on converting leads) and bolster sales through word of mouth from satisfied customers.
The question, then, is what can you do to not only build those strong client relationships, but also to maintain them?
Understand their operations, and how yours intersect
It's not easy to be a good business partner if you don't know what your clients need from you, according to The Muse. You should be eager to learn more about their business functions and do what you can to ensure you can continually meet (or even anticipate) their needs on an ongoing basis. At this time, you can also evaluate how your own operations can be streamlined to better meet client needs.
Of course, it's not enough to successfully understand and sometimes guess what a client might need from you. It's also important to ask for their opinion of your efforts, even if they aren't necessarily happy, so that you can always do that "10% more" to make sure they're truly happy with your partnership. Asking about both what you can do better and what you already do well (so that you can lean more into those positives) will better set you up for success.
Prioritise clear, consistent communication
Client communication is critical to ensuring a successful relationship, because you never want customers wondering what's going on with your end of the bargain. Indeed recommended that you stay in touch on a consistent basis with clear updates, ask whatever questions you need answered and make sure clients know you're always ready to respond to their messages as well.
Be prepared to provide solutions if you need to
Let's face it: Not everything in business is going to proceed smoothly or the way you expect. This only makes it more important to you can be responsive in such situations. You can't leave a client unhappy because a problem was outside of your control. Instead, your attitude should be, "What can we do to make it right?" If your contact trusts that you will arrive at a solution, it's advantageous to everyone.
Do what you can to exceed expectations
You've no doubt heard the phrase, "Under-promise, over-deliver," and you have likely been on the receiving end of such service during your time in business. Now is the time to follow that example, according to MBO Partners. When you keep expectations reasonable (for example, with shipping times) and then do even slightly better than what you initially promised, your clients will feel as though you've gone above and beyond for them.
Of course, these are just the basic building blocks of developing strong client relationships on an ongoing basis. For a more in-depth understand, why not try ICML's Building Client Relationships course? We can tailor it to your individual or organisational needs so that you get as much as possible out of the training sessions.