Happy clients equal a happy business, and these 5 keys to successful client relationships will give you the happiest business of all.
Picture your favorite client. You know the one – they’re always glad to see you, they’re a total pleasure to work with, and time after time they’re thrilled with the work you do.
But what if your relationships with all your clients could be as fantastic as the one you have with this dream client? And what if instead of waiting for more of those “dream clients” to appear, we worked intentionally to make every client relationship a fantastic one?
Sound too good to be true?
It’s entirely possible with the following five keys to successful client relationships.
Get these tools into your toolbelt, and your client relationships will never be the same.
1) Be an exceptional communicator.
Always take the time to communicate exceptionally, whether it’s in person, over the phone, or in an email. Commit to replying to your clients’ inquiries thoroughly and in a timely manner, and they will come to trust, value, and appreciate you more than you know. Be available, be timely, be clear, and be eloquent.
2) Share your knowledge.
Although you don’t need to share every aspect of the “sausage-making” behind your business with your clients (their eyes would probably glaze over), from time to time it can be great to take that opportunity and share with your client WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, or HOW you’re doing it. They will appreciate having a glimpse into your work, and it will build their trust in your process and knowledge.
3) Get to know your client, the person.
I’m guessing you know all about your client’s business. But what do you know about them as a person? Are they married? Single? Do they have kids? What do they do when they’re not working? Where are they vacationing this summer? Don’t be afraid to express curiosity or interest in your clients’ lives. It will show them that you genuinely care about them, and they might even express interest in your life as well.
4) Just be nice! (even on your terrible days)
I know it’s hard, but even on your worst days – the days when you wonder why you ever started a business in the first place (we all have them) – keeping a positive and friendly demeanor is the way to go, both in person and in writing. An in my experience, when I’m having a bad day, putting on a happy face for my clients actually ends up making me feel better in the end.
5) Go above and beyond.
Of course, you get the job done for your clients on time every time (because that’s what we do), but do you ever go above and beyond? When you see those opportunities to go that extra quarter mile because you know it will bowl over your client with happiness, take it each and every time! Whether it’s a handwritten thank you note, a resource you thought they might enjoy, or a thoughtful gift in the mail – opportunities like this are worth their weight in gold.
In the end, the keys to successful client relationships all come down to making that little extra effort: to speak and write clearly, to show them you care, and to go a little bit above and beyond what’s expected of you.
But for those times when the above five tips don’t create the great relationship you’re hoping for, these might help:
Dealing with an extremely difficult client? Check out How to Deal with Difficult People.
Think it might be time to break up with your client? Check out When to Fire a Client: 4 Signs it’s Time to “Bless and Release.”