Maintaining a good relationship with your clients is the most important part of so many industries. Keeping them invested, maintaining expectations, and staying positive can be difficult for anyone taking their first steps in business. Even for more experienced professionals, it can be very useful to be reminded of some of the fundamentals of managing relations with clients. That’s why I’ve taken the time to put together the top 10 ideas for maintaining great client relationships.
- Be honest
A basic rule for any relationship, but it is extra important in business. Being honest with your clients is an absolute must to maintain any long-term relationship. Even when the truth might not be what they want to hear, keeping an honest relationship is so key to keeping their business in the long-term and developing a deep bond with the client.
Another piece of good advice for any relationship, not just clients. You have to do more than just hear the words they say, you have to truly listen to what they are trying to get across and action it. To be able to actually work on any of their feedback, you have to be able to listen to what they are saying. More than just the words they use, but the ideas behind it.
- Be consistent
Consistency is key. Especially when it comes to maintaining a certain relationship with a client. Make sure to never flip-flop on decisions, contradict yourself, or come off as dishonest. You are who you are, and your clients will respect you for keeping to certain values instead of changing every other second. People want to work with real people, not a yes-person who changes daily.
- Look for the silver linings
In every situation, there are important points to take away and think about. Some clients will focus too much on the negatives from a situation, beating themselves up for their shortcomings. So, it’s good to always look at the positives for them and show them how they have done well. It may even be a good boost for your own self-confidence to see your successes.
- Take responsibility
It’s another fairly simple but incredibly important one but taking responsibility for your actions is something that a lot of professionals do seem to forget about when it suits them. Always be ready to take responsibility, even if it isn’t positive, as it shows to the client that you are as serious about their project as they are. You can show your integrity, honesty, and work ethic all at the same time.
- Set realistic expectations
While some people like to please their clients with promises of big things, I think it is better for a long-term client relationship to keep expectations optimistic but realistic. It is also good to keep your client updated on how expectations change throughout to develop a deeper and more natural relationship with them.
- Communicate well
This might be obvious for some of the more experienced professionals, it is always good to remind everyone that communication is key to any relationship. Whatever the nature of the relationship, there are always ways to improve communication. Always look to improve your communications, and make sure your messages are getting across clearly.
- Treat your clients like human
It is important to see your clients as much more than just email addresses or voices behind a phone. On the other side of that call, there are people with their own opinions, problems and priorities. Always be aware of the person on the other side of conversations, be aware of their preferences, and get to know them as a person as well as a client.
- Stay positive
It goes without saying that positivity is useful in client relationships, but it’s a dedication to maintaining that positivity through tough periods that is needed for truly special client relationships. Always be looking on the bright side of any developments in your relationship, finding lessons to learn in every situation and helping yourself and your client grow to overcome the next obstacle.
- Be open
Last but definitely not least important is the idea of preserving a sense of openness and transparency in a client relationship. Your client is opening their business and themselves up to you so they will appreciate some reciprocation of that. Share your ideas, show them some love and in return they will grow alongside you into the future.