How to Build Stronger Client Relationships
The quality of our relationships affects everything. The effort you put into your connections is what shows people how much you value them. A successful business relationship makes your clients feel good while getting the services and guidance they need and has a significant effect on customer satisfaction and retention. Read on for tips on building stronger relationships with your clients.
Don’t Be Afraid
It can be easy to be intimidated when reaching out, especially if you are naturally shy or reserved, but the first step is: don’t overthink it. Keep in regular contact with your clients. Even if your communication goes unacknowledged, it will likely be appreciated. Decide how many “touches” you would like to have with your clients each year, and then reach out periodically to initiate interactions.
Think About the Big Picture
Great relationships are created when both sides are benefiting mutually, so learn your client’s needs. Take some time to think about what they want and develop a plan. Strong relationships are ongoing, so think about how your efforts will work together over time. Utilize multiple channels to ensure your messages hit: send an email to share a link one month, a hand-signed holiday card the next.
As your relationships grow, you will be able to tailor your approach to create an even deeper bond. Note things about your clients for follow-up; this thoughtful attention will make them feel special. For example, if the CFO of a company has a notoriously messy inbox, note to send an accompanying text when emailing important messages. Even a favorite sports team could be useful for small talk. You may find it helpful to record these details in a database or with customer retention management software.
Ideas for Potential Communications
- Add value: Clients are coming to you for expertise, so reach out with things they can use. Share links or articles (Eblasts are good, but a personal email is a nice touch), offer to give a presentation to their team or make introductions to colleagues. The key is that what you’re offering must align with your client’s needs, so be sure you understand them.
- Ask questions: People love to know their opinions matter, especially to colleagues they respect. Show your clients you value their thoughts by asking what they think about a relevant issue or for feedback on your services. During your discussion, they may reveal new needs you can meet!
- Celebrate them: In good relationships, you cheer for each other! If a client achieves a milestone, send a congratulatory message privately or publicly if appropriate.
Your relationship with your clients lays the groundwork for your future. Your relationships will grow organically, but you should also be proactive in developing these connections to make sure your clients feel how much they are valued.