Building strong client relationships isn’t rocket science.
In fact , cultivating a strong relationship with any client boils down to just two things:
- Good communication;
- Offering a lot — and I mean lots — of value with the purpose of improving your client’s experience.
Of course , it is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guidebook. In it, you’ll learn how to:
- Set very clear expectations from the get-go
- Position yourself as being a strategic partner
- Build trust from the start
- Always meet your deadlines
- Impress your client with results
- Make the entire working process smooth
- Ask for repeat work
Prepared to learn more about building successful company relationships and landing repeat work?
Let’s jump in.
1 . Fixed Expectations from the Outset
Understanding your clients’ expectations from the very beginning places you in a better position to fulfill their requirements than if you were trying to assist them based only upon guesswork.
Adrienne Barnes , a SaaS Consultant and Content Marketer who has worked with the girl longest client for over annually, is of the same view.
“One of the very important things that I do to create a better experience for our clients is to very obviously communicate my expectations and truly understand their targets. I ask a lot of questions early on, and I make zero assumptions. ”
Talk about building a excellent client relationship!
Here’s what you can do to get into your client’s expectations plus build a positive relationship based on what you learn:
Jump On a Call With Your Client
Occasionally, email communications can help you understand your clients’ expectations.
However , nothing beats the effectiveness of a good ol’ phone call for building rapport and getting to know the other person — their particular business goals, challenges, and so much more.
And if the face-to-face client communication is necessary, Zoom is a great (and free) option.
Settle On a brief
This 2-3-page document bears all the important details of a project. It’s the foundation associated with any smooth sailing project.
The information included in a brief clarifies what both parties anticipate — getting them on a single page and minimizing chances of unfulfilled expectations.
If your client doesn’t already have a brief or this doesn’t answer all your queries, share your brief template or send over the remaining questions before you get to work.
Ask Lots of Queries
As a first year small business owner, it can be daunting in order to question new clients. I’ve been there myself. But , the feelings on this changed once i realized that asking clients good questions reflects your interest in the job at hand.
Asking the right questions also shows you know the ins and outs of the job well.
Explain Your Working Process
This helps established expectations for each phase from the project.
Your client learns what they are investing in and how you’re going to be working.
How you work is a burning question that most clients have got, so they tend to inquire about it themselves.
If they don’t, take the initiative and share the way you work, the steps included, and how it has all performed out with past customers.
Alternatively, you can outline your working process on your site like Barnes does:
2 . Position Your self as a Strategic Partner
Think about this for a second:
Would you like to work together with someone with whom there is a purely transactional business relationship?
Or, would you rather work with someone who wants to assist you to succeed by offering one of the most value to you?
It’s the latter, isn’t this?
New clients and old ones alike appreciate the extra value that you provide.
Here’s an easy example:
Like a freelance writer, my work is to write research-backed content material. However , in several cases, I actually go the extra step and share what I’ve written along with my audience. By doing so, We help promote my clients’ content.
For B2B SaaS writer, Kat Ambrose , building beneficial client relationships is based on the same.
“The moment I realized that We needed to be more than just someone who could write blog posts for the clients was the moment I started seeing a difference within retaining them. ”
So how can you position yourself as a proper business partner?
Here are some helpful tips:
Research Your Client
Before you get back to your potential customers’ queries, have a few minutes to research them. Also just a quick Google search assists!
If you find the chance is a good fit for your business, dig deeper. Go through the website thoroughly. Don’t forget to check their particular LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media accounts to understand their targets.
All this study will prove handy in understanding what the potential client’s goals are and how you are able to go above and beyond to help reach all of them.
Give Free of charge Advice
The concept is to increase the value you provide to improve your client’s experience with you.
For instance, Ambrose shares that will she:
“Offers[s] guidance based on my experience and knowledge of the industry, tell customers what they *actually need* instead of what they think they need, and be a sounding board regarding ideas especially in the early stages of the project. That initial collaboration sets the tone. ”
Monfa C. ex-freelance designer did the same and ended up working with his client, Visme , a DIY infographic-making software, full time.
“In the case, I always try to maintain the same level of professionalism, accessibility and emotion with all clients, but there are clients who have excel at making you feel comfortable. Using these clients you feel the need to provide more than what is asked associated with you. ”
The folks over at Visme made Monfa feel comfortable and maintained good communication using their side as they worked on design projects together.
Consequently, Monfa adds:
“I appeared for a way to give him [his client] confidence, fulfilling and improving my delivery times. Sharing ideas even if they were not requested of me and maintaining obvious communication and organization in my work. ”
three or more. Build Trust from Before the Prospect Knocks on Your Door
As in any other lasting relationship, a solid business relationship stands on trust.
When prospects know you as someone reliable plus authoritative in the industry, they’re more open to the idea of striking a long-term relationship with you.
But you can’t construct trust overnight.
Instead, it’s a slow procedure to become your potential client’ s trusted advisor, leading them through each phase of their journey until they decide to work with you.
Put on your client relationship management hat and obtain to work by taking these steps:
Build Yourself being an Authority in Your Field
Start with building a appropriate writing portfolio and a trusty internet site that’s easy to navigate, clearly explains what you do, shares your bio , and answers questions that prospects may have in their mind.
Want some more ways to gain your visitors’ trust?
Reveal client testimonials, businesses you have worked with in the past, results you’ve achieved for them, and situation studies.
Next, go on to provide freebies (such as an eBook) or share valuable content on your website and/or interpersonal media to build authority.
Get Back to Your Customers Right Away
React to queries as soon as you can. You can even set an estimated response time on your website to set objectives.
Lastly, build trust by sharing exactly how you’ve helped other clients with whom you did similar projects for as well as the results you achieved.
Gain Your Clients’ Trust Further as You Interact
Keep your client looped throughout the process by sharing project updates every week. This destresses your client as they don’t have to worry about just how things are going.
4. Constantly Meet Your Deadlines
By meeting deadlines, you tell your client you value their time, which usually improves their experience dealing with you.
Regrettably, freelancers and other service-based business owners have developed a bad reputation when it comes to deadlines. On the bright side, this leaves you with a lengthy hanging opportunity to impress your own clients and further your business connection.
In fact , B2B Freelance Writer for SaaS, Elise Dopson , shares delivering work before the deadline as her “best tip for enhancing a client’ s encounter. ”
The girl explains:
“I usually set my own deadlines once a client comes to me with a brief — usually within 5-7 business days. However , I try to deliver the draft at least one day before the deadline I’ ve said.
This doesn’t sound like much, but it surprises them and models me apart. ”
Some steps you can take to honor deadlines:
Use a Project Software to Map Out All of your Work
When you have a visual understanding of all of your client work — what’s due, what’s in progress, and what’s delivered — you will be able to follow through with your routine.
The following four project management tools will help you keep an eye on your ongoing tasks:
- Trello : Gives you 10 free, Kanban-style boards which you can use to manage your work. On my main Trello work plank, I have the following four content: To-do, In progress, Review/Edits needed, Done.
- Notion : This one’s completely free for personal use. You are able to create Kanban boards and also task lists, and jot down project notes.
- Todoist : Whilst I use Trello to track every project’s progress, I use Todoist as my daily to-do list app so I possess a clear idea of what I have to work on each day.
- HubSpot CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT : Depending on the size of the team, a versatile CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (customer relationship manager) tool like HubSpot’s free choice could come in very convenient.
Only Take On Work that You Can Deliver On Time
Keep in mind that retaining existing clients is usually far less expensive than getting new business. And, no, I am not the only one saying therefore. 70% associated with businesses state it’ s more most affordable to retain customers than obtain new ones.
So , prioritize completing impending projects within their due times instead of working on landing more work than you can handle.
Give Yourself Artificial Deadlines
This particular one’s my favorite way to achieve my deadlines.
If a content piece arrives on the 20th of the 30 days, I’ll add 15th to a calendar. This way, even if I’m unable to finish all the work, We still have time to deliver the project on time.
5. Win over Clients with Results
Not only will delivering the results you promised enhance the client experience, but it also increases the likelihood of them turning into do it again customers.
For example , as a freelance writer, I take the time to understand clients’ brand voice and formatting style closely, which means they obtain an end product that does not require extra edits.
Here are some ways you can obtain results for your clients:
Set Up Results Tracking Metrics
This particular one’s a hat suggestion to Eileen Kennan , another SaaS writer and content refreshing expert.
“You want to know exactly how a lot of leads, conversions, sign-ups, or traffic your articles are getting month over month. Create a case for how you lead to the company’s business goals.
If your articles perform well, it’s an easy upward sell to get more, higher-priced function than just sending articles to the void without any check-up. ”
Keep your Results You Want to Achieve in your mind
This way, you might have the results you want to achieve at the top of your mind.
But , instead of writing elaborate paragraphs of what you want to achieve, summarize your goal in two lines and keep this front and center.
6. Make the Entire Work Process Smooth
Developing relationships boils down to giving your own client’s a smooth experience. All of the tips I’ve shared up to now have this idea at their own heart.
When everything is effortless plus straightforward for your clients, their experience working with you can be A1, making you their first person for more work.
So , in addition to sticking to the tips above, consider taking these steps too:
Make it Easy for Clients to utilize You
This particular extends to both before potential customers reach you and once they’re working with you.
For the former, make it easy to contact you.
By sharing your contact info clearly on your website.
And, make sure you make contacting you an easy choice. Share one email address instead of making them think about which one to utilize in case of multiple addresses.
As for the latter, be communicative.
You know that you should keep your client up-to-date. Other than that, complete any edits requested with 1-2 company days, 3 at most.
If your schedule is usually packed and you can’t get back with the edits any faster, specify the time you’ll take to do so.
Have a Clear Process for Onboarding Clients
Possess a checklist of questions you should ask so you can ask them in one go. For instance, I ask a few of these questions each time I work with a new client:
- “What exactly do you need my help with? ” (This will help you better understand the client’s needs. )
- “Who will be my point of contact for the task? ”
- “How in-depth is the brief (or do you need me to make one)? ”
- “What turnaround time do you’ve in mind for this work? ”
- “Are right now there any specific payment terms you have in place? ”
- “How do you prefer making payments? ”
Also, understand the raw material that you would require, so you can request everything at once instead of getting your client to exchange tons of emails.
This means you need to compose no-fluff emails that instantly get to the point. Remember: your own clients are pressed meant for time, so make points mindless for them.
Have a question you did not remember to ask? Get straight to it in your email.
Have a few items to ask or bring to their attention? Use bullet factors to share them in your email. This makes your information easy to read and, therefore , easy to respond to for your client.
Lastly, if you find yourself composing a page-long email, consider creating an audio explainer or Loom video.
seven. Ask for Repeat Work
If you’ve done almost everything right, there’s no pity in asking for repeat function.
I like to request my clients how their own experience was or if they liked the work to see how they felt. Often , I also proceed to ask them if there is something that I could have done much better.
In several instances, clients will themselves request you to work long-term with them.
Michelle Garrett , PR Consultant and Writer, says:
“Once they see that they can trust you and that you simply deliver quality work, they might ask you to take on additional jobs. ”
So , how do you ask for replicate business?
Ask How the Client’s Working Experience Was (and If You Could Help them More)
Garrett suggests you ask:
“’Is there anything else I could end up being helping you with? ” or even suggest something. For example: ‘I’m writing blog posts for you now, but would it be helpful if I furthermore wrote social media posts? ’”
You can even try:
“I’m planning my work schedule for next month, should I save a spot for you? ” or “It was a pleasure working with you. Would you be interested in coming together further? ”
Follow-Up with Clients After a Few Months
A good retention program doesn’t need to be complicated. Setting up a simple calendar reminder that tells you to check in with your client and ask if you could help them with more work will do the trick.
Begin to build Strong Client Relationships Right Away
There you might have it! You’re now choose tips to build good customer relationships — ones that may win you repeat work or even referrals.
Admittedly, in the beginning, putting all of this work into relationship-building may feel overwhelming.
But remember: lasting client associations can take you from rags to riches. Simply concentrate on giving your clients an easy experience and you’re prepared.
To summarize: start building trust, take the time to realize and set client expectations, and make working with you smooth sailing.
Don’t forget to satisfy your deadlines.
And, most importantly, never hesitate of asking for repeat work.
So what have you been waiting for? Go build new relationships. Here’s to your list of happy clients.
The post 7 Ways to Build Solid Client Relationships (+ six Pro Tips) appeared first on Smart Blogger .