The client is the lifeblood of the business.
Their cash injections allow for profits and the payments that go into feeding your employees and maintaining business capital. They drive the market and businesses act accordingly, so managing client relationships is of huge importance and is made easier with the evolution of client management software. The landscape of business is changing and trends towards digitised business channels pose issues and opportunities and having relevant client management software make operating more optimal the world wide.
Let’s look at 8 effective methods for client management, learning how to overcome obstacles that may present themselves and reap the benefits to further the success of your business.
Maintain Regular Contact With the Client
Being left in the leave can leave one wondering, and then eventually wandering. Maintaining regular contact with the client enables the client to stay involved with you and their product or service during the process. Maintaining contact is a form of expressing client relationship management. There are added benefits such as measuring client satisfaction, measuring performance, negotiating deadlines and building a loyal customer base. It is imperative to agree on a level of communication (e.g. weekly calls, monthly calls, etc) and deciding on the medium (e.g. via in-person meetings, email, calls, messages, etc). It is important to do this right away as it is most comfortable for the customer and it builds a foundation, they know what to expect and when to expect it. The choice of medium will ultimately depend on the client, as some may not have enough time to attend in-person meetings weekly, so may instead opt for a weekly email or a fortnightly call. You may also find that calls and in-person meetings may not actually be necessary for certain clients as there might not be enough to go over to justify having a weekly call.
Keeping in regular contact with your clients can also ensure them that you’re on top of things and can give them a better overview of what your business is doing for them. It’s the one of the main keys to building a great client relationship and will keep them happy in the long run.
Use Client Management Software
Whether keeping track of your growing business or maximising the relationship with your existing clientele, client management software remains among the best CRM for small businesses. This can be done through the use of timesheet software in which customers, employees, time and tasks are tracked. This turns billing into a quick and exact part of a professional business. With the tracking of tasks, time and pay rate for the respective employee shown in regard to each individual client, you are able to determine who is deserving of what payment for which task and the finalised sum for billing the client. Good client management timesheet software gets rid of the needless books and searching and combines them into one easy to use tool. This convenience can give you more time to focus on more important matters by being efficient and easy to use giving you the peace of mind knowing that your clients are being well taken care of.
Make Sure to Follow Up
It is often recommended to people in the job-hunting market to follow up and see how the recruitment process is going and this is because it holds many benefits. It shows enthusiasm, dedication and loyalty amongst other positive attributes which leave a favourable impression in the mind of the recruiter. The same principles apply to the management of clientele. Following up with a client shows care for their level of satisfaction and respect for your craft. It can also leave a lasting impression. Even once the job is complete, they are left pleasant thoughts of you and once a good thing is stumbled upon it’s difficult to let it go so easily. Loyalty in retained clients is a great way to secure the prosperity of your business.
Set Clear Expectations and Deliverables with CRM systems
Ambiguity can cause confusion, miscommunication and frustration. The solution; set clear expectations and deliverables. Talk with the client and be transparent so that they know what to expect. Knowing what to expect informs them of the intended proposed result and once it is delivered, they can be satisfied as the transaction has been fulfilled. Delivering a product or service of good quality can be overshadowed if the expectations have not been fully laid out. Having appropriate CRM systems can automate and centralise the process of working with clients allowing for a better collective understanding of the clients and their current status in relation to the sale. Now you can communicate with the client accurately on how much work is to be done without overpromising. A CRM system working in tandem with clearly expressed expectations and deliverables shortens work time and optimises the management of your clients. This causes an increase in the client’s level of satisfaction, solidification of the brand’s image and further optimises your business output, increasing profits.
Honesty is key and it can liberate you from even the tightest of spots. Without honesty, you risk not supplying the correct product or service, delivering empty promises and risking the integrity of your business altogether. If you can’t deliver on a product, be honest and you will be saving the time and money of both you and the client. The product wouldn’t be able to deliver the promised result regardless of your words or lack thereof, so telling the truth allows you to cut your losses and save what you can. You may even save your client who could come back as a returning customer, as they could appreciate your honesty rather than if you were being dishonest and led them to believe something completely different. Honest customer service policies can be great for your business as it establishes that your business can be trustworthy and reliable.
Adapt to Different Situations With Different Clients
The client presents a dynamic element that is subject to change. To keep afloat, one must be willing to adapt to different situations with different clients. Just as members of a family vary independently, a client will have their own preferences and resources at their disposal. Also, the way they run their businesses may differ.
Varying degrees of professionalism and personalities are rife in the realm of customer service. Clients may pose challenges which may test your patience and even operational processes, but overcoming these obstacles can prove to be a valuable learning experience. The lessons learned from these interactions can be applied to the management of your business as a whole. You will likely work with others such as employees and contractors, so applying these to other relationships build your repertoire to something more indicative of a reinforced structure than a house of cards.
A client management system may offer a visual and interactive way of deriving a cultivated understanding of your clients down to the individual level. Working with a particularly good client can help to raise the standard of your operation. If the client conducts themselves in a uniquely beneficial manner you may learn how to emulate and recreate such conditions in the future.
Whether you interact with someone who is perfectly professional or a client that berates your business unjustly and causes needless havoc, opportunities present themselves to further bolster your operations and strengthen the ethics of your business.