The 4 Building Blocks of Successful Client Relationships
Client relationships require many of the same skills that you need in relationships with anyone else in your life. When you look at a client, you aren’t looking at a dollar sign – you’re looking at a human being! With that in mind, here are a few of our top tips for ensuring strong, lasting client relationships.
No one likes a bait-and-switch. Never promise something to a client that you aren’t 100% sure you can deliver. At best, you’ll come across as flaky – at worse, dishonest. To build trust in your client relationships, follow through and deliver on your promises.
#2 Problem Solving
In a business relationship, almost every problem has a solution. As the account manager or customer service representative, it’s your job to figure out what that solution is! Ideally, your team has been proactive in identifying potential problems so that you can eliminate them in advance. When something unexpected comes up, think outside the box or brainstorm solutions with your team to ensure your client relationships stay strong.
In client relationships, it’s almost impossible to over-communicate! Be clear and transparent about your company’s processes and what you’re doing to ensure success. If a client has a concern, proceed with clear and transparent communication. Show that you hear and understand their concerns. (It can be as simple as saying: “I understand that you are concerned about…”) Never be dismissive! Once you ensure that the client feels heard, ask follow-up questions to help you solve their problem.
Empathy 101: Imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes, and treat them the way you’d want to be treated. If a client has a concern, repeat it back to them for clarity, but don’t stop there! Imagine what it would be like to be in their situation. Think about the time and money that they’ve invested in your service. How would you feel if you weren’t getting the return you expected from that investment? With that in mind, work alongside them to fix the problem as a partner invested in their long-term success.
In a nutshell, if you treat your clients as people first and foremost, your customer relationships will be built on a solid foundation!
Before you have client relationships, you need to actually have clients! If you’ve got the relationship skills and just need a steady source of prospects, drop us a line.