A Guide To Client Relationships (Plus Effective Strategies)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 28 September 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A company's client base plays an integral role in the success and growth of a business. Developing and maintaining positive professional relationships with customers is an important aspect of creating a successful organisation. Understanding how to foster and build these relationships can help a company reach members of its target audience and develop a positive rapport with consumers. In this article, we define what client relationships are, provide a list of strategies companies may use to develop them and include a series of helpful tips to use.
What Are Client Relationships?
Client relationships are connections a company has with its audience that may inspire brand loyalty and help a business maintain a reliable client base. Businesses that develop great, long-term relationships with their clients are usually more likely to receive repeat business from those customers. Satisfied customers may also recommend a brand, product or service to a colleague, which can lead to new business. With positive, enduring relationships with clients, companies can achieve overall business success and create larger projects or develop new products that suit their clients' desires and priorities.
Client Relationship Strategies
Here are 12 strategies that can help a company build and maintain positive relationships with its customers:
Communicate with clients
It is important for a company to establish open, consistent lines of communication with its clients. Companies may offer customers multiple ways to contact a member of the organisation, such as a cell phone number, office phone number and email address. If a business collaborates with its clients, it is important for them to establish regular communication to assess the project and answer any questions. It is important for businesses to be available to speak with their clients to address their concerns, whether about a project that is in development or an existing product or service.
Share information about a product or project
One way for a company to foster a positive relationship with a client is to help keep them informed about the project they are contributing to or the product they purchased. A brand can outline how communication between the company and the client operates, describe how the product or service functions and provide a clear timeline for a project with regular updates.
A company may also create tutorials and training sessions for their product or service if they think their customers may benefit from them. This can show clients that the organisation wants them to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and ensure they know how to take advantage of all of a product's features.
When interacting with clients or creating training materials for them, it is important for companies to maintain a positive and friendly attitude. This can encourage customers to approach the company with their questions and concerns and help them feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions. For example, clients may rely on a company for guidance throughout the duration of a project and maintaining a positive perspective can help the company ease the customer's worries.
Learn about the client's priorities
When completing a project together, it is important for a company to understand its client's priorities and requests. Alternatively, if the business wants to sell a product, understanding its customers' preferences can help the brand develop goods for members of its target audience. This can show consumers that the company takes their feedback seriously and wants to develop goods and services that cater to their requirements and desires.
Try to exceed client expectations
A company can help build positive relationships with these customers by meeting and exceeding their expectations. This can help a brand show it prioritises clients' opinions and strives to beat its competitors by providing more impressive options for its customers. It is important for companies to provide realistic time frames and deliver the product or solution as quickly as possible. Brands can also maintain communication, answer questions and make sure to meet their client's requirements throughout the process to try to exceed their expectations.
Highlight industry expertise
Companies are experts on the products and services they provide, so it is important for them to highlight their industry knowledge when developing relationships with clients. Businesses can provide confident, clear and consistent messaging to their client regarding the processes and products involved in the project. This can help gain clients' trust and show them they chose the right company.
Make interactions personal
Many businesses may interact with their clients primarily over email or via phone calls. Building a personal rapport with clients can help them develop a more positive relationship with a brand and view its employees as advocates. Creating a personal connection is key to establishing and maintaining strong professional relationships.
Conduct preliminary research
It may be important for a company to find out all they can about their client, whether they are an individual customer or a business. Research and knowledge can help a business better meet customers' short- and long-term requirements. For example, a business may want to learn what competitors offer their clients and use this information to increase its value proposition in its quote or estimate. This can help an organisation highlight how it differs from other businesses in its field and show clients why they are a great option.
Solicit client feedback
A simple yet effective way to improve relationships with clients is to ask for their feedback. A company can encourage clients to address any complaints they have regarding products or services and invite them to offer improvement suggestions. By implementing this feedback into business processes, a brand can provide better services for future projects. For example, a company can use tools like surveys and open-door policies to solicit honest, relevant feedback.
Set clear boundaries
While it is important for clients to see that businesses are flexible with their project requirements, it is important for an organisation to set boundaries from the beginning. For example, a business may want to clarify how many product revisions they include with the pricing before they bill the client for extra hours. This approach ensures the client maintains realistic expectations and prevents them from taking advantage of the company's services.
Hold the business and clients accountable
Positive professional relationships can thrive when both parties are responsible for their contributions and tasks. This means it is important to hold both a company and a client accountable for deadlines, deliverables and meetings. Setting clear expectations for the client and brand relationship can help everyone adhere to a predetermined schedule and provide updates or feedback when necessary. Companies can describe their communication expectations to maximise accountability.
Tips For Developing Positive Relationships With Clients
You can develop deeper, stronger relationships with customers by using a few helpful strategies and practices, including:
Check in frequently. Regularly contact your clients to make sure the company is meeting their needs. Offer support or assistance if they call for it and continue to check in, even if they have everything they need.
Prepare solutions. Consider possible challenges before beginning the project and create solutions for those problems. When you have potential solutions in place before issues arise, you are better able to keep the project focused.
Respect their time. Your client's time is valuable, as is your own. Set clear, consistent timelines for meetings, deliverables and other project elements.
Be patient. Clients might change their minds about the direction of a project and production might slow for several reasons. Throughout the process, remain patient and upbeat with everyone involved.
Listen closely. Listen to your client when they express requests and desires and try to meet their needs or address any concerns they express. Remember the ideas they share and reference them later to help build the relationship.
Respond quickly. Promptly answer phone calls and emails. If you do not have an answer to a question, respond anyway and let the client know you are looking for the answer.
Provide next steps. As the project progresses, make sure the client always understands the next step. It is comforting to know what to expect, so having your expectations for the next phase of the project can help support clients.
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