Great relationships can be formed with your clients if you give it some effort. To make this happen, your clients need to hear from you and need to see you anticipating their needs along the way. Think about the great service you have received and how you can pass that along. It doesn’t take much, but it does take strategic thought. Here are five pointers to create better communication and relationships with your clients.
1. Remember that they are human.
Your clients and customers are humans. They are human beings not human doings. They are living and breathing. They don’t want to be treated like a fact or figure. They want to be treated like the individual persons they are. Go the extra mile to make it so.
2. Be forthcoming with information.
Don’t let the client come banging on your door after they heard about an issue. Be proactive about the information you have to share, especially if there is a problem. If they have to come find you, you have lost major trust with them. One of my former clients, recently told me how he believed the leadership team where he worked incinerated the trust they had with the hourly workers. The leadership team knew of a situation months ahead of the hourly team and the hourly team just recently found out. When the hourly team realized the leadership team knew about the issue but didn’t say anything, it rocked the organization.
3. Offer the solution that is best for the client, even if it’s NOT with you!
If you are in a position to have clients, that usually means you are selling something in the marketplace. Clients are used to being over-talked by pushy sales people, so they guard themselves against it. Disarm them with genuine care. Listen to their needs and only suggest solutions that will make their lives better. In the movie Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle doubled their profits when he began suggesting that clients go elsewhere to find the items they wanted. His “stunt” endeared Macy’s to the heart of the customers because it made customers feel like they had someone who was looking out for them.
4. Connect in person.
Show up at their office, call them on the phone, or send a handwritten note. In a world were we like to streamline business as much as possible, any gesture that says “this was not automatically generated” goes a long way with customer service. I was coaching an out-of-town client. Although our coaching engagement ended, when I was in her city, we made a point to meet for coffee. It was great to meet her in person. She expressed how much she appreciated my taking the time out to chat with her.
5. Give relevant information.
Clients want to be constantly reminded that they made the right decision in choosing you. In 2009, my family was working with a financial planner. At the time, there were a lot of law changes about the state of the market. One day we got a phone call from him. He said, “I know there has been a lot of financial info in the news. It could seem overwhelming. I wanted to call you to see if you had any questions.” We didn’t have any questions at that time, but when we did, he was the first person we called.
These 5 tips will vastly improve your client communication, and take your relationship to the next level.
For other ideas on improving client communication check out the following links:
Three Ways to Improve Communication With Your Client on Forbes.com
What are some successful ways you improved communication with your clients? You can leave your comment below.