If your business lives or dies on the success of your relationship with clients, you likely spend a good portion of your day and your resources trying to make these relationships stronger. However, despite all your efforts, there are clients and businesses who just don’t get off on the right foot when it comes to their professional relationship. When this happens, it can be an uphill battle to get back on solid ground. So for businesses who’ve had some issues in the past with building a strong relationship with clients, here are three tips to help you cultivate a better relationship in the future.
Expectations Are Everything
One of the biggest reasons clients have issues with a service provider is due to expectations. If you as the service provider haven’t accurately conveyed what the client should be expecting from you, major problems can arise. To appropriately set the expectations of your clients, Paul Jarvis, a contributor to Inc.com, recommends for you to clearly state and put in writing what the client can expect with regards to deliverables, timeline and cost. By laying these things out before you begin working with them, you can hopefully avoid issues here.
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Create A Communication Culture
Being able to keep track of your clients and the work being done for them is a huge part of project management and client relationships. However, effectively communicating in these two areas doesn’t always come naturally, especially when there are so many ways to communicate with your client.
According to Jennifer Lonoff Schiff, a contributor to CIO.com, it’s best for a service provider to communicate with their clients in the ways the client prefers. While this may not be your ideal way to keep in contact with your clients, creating this culture of open and transparent communication will work wonders for your client relationships.
Strive to Become a Partner, Not Just a Resource
To take your client relationships to the next level, Michael Sneddon, a contributor to Business2Community.com, advises service providers to seek to become partners with their clients rather than just a resource to them. While cultivating this type of relationship requires a lot of work on both sides of the fence, it can result in some of the most mutually beneficial client relationships out there. Having a partner relationship as your goal for your clients can result in doing better work, creating a larger network for yourself, and coming up with more innovative solutions for working with each of your clients individually as well as collectively.
A business that needs working client relations to functions really needs to focus on making these relationships as productive and effective as possible. Use the tips above to help bring your client relationships to a level each side can be happy with.