The most important part of working with clients is to have clear lines of communication and an abundance of trust. When a client signs on with you the best way you can ensure that is turns into a repeat client is to make the process easy and beneficial. Clear communication and trust are the foundation of a good client relationship and there are three simple ways to build those very things.
Having a concise and clear onboarding process starts your business relationship off on the right foot. Create a document or series of documents that lays out everything the client can expect from you and what you expect from them. This will help you avoid your new clients feeling confused or worse like you took their money and now they have no idea what happens. This is also a great time to explain your company policies such as communication response time. The clarity right from the start will immediately show that you are a professional and you have policies and procedures that will make the relationship beneficial for yourself and your client.
Clear Work Flow
Before you start working on your clients project you should offer a clearly stated path of what they can expect along the way. Remember that your client has no idea how long each aspect of the work will take and if you do not communicate a timeline they may think it should be completed more quickly. Depending on the length of the contract and the scope of the work you can offer a timeline that gives time frames for deliverables, review time, status reports and a final delivery date. If you manage the expectations of the client and let them know that they will be communicated with regularly it puts them at ease. They know what to expect and know that you will be in touch, which allows them to sit back and let you do their job and you do yours.
If you have an ongoing project or a large project that is taking longer than a couple of weeks you should consider status updates. These updates do not have to go into every tiny detail, but they do serve as a benchmark for the project and keeps the client appraised of progress. This can be especially helpful if it is a lengthy project. If you are not keeping your client appraised of your progress and wins as it relates to them they can forget how important your role is to their business. Status reports remind them of the good work that you are doing.
By building up trust and keeping open lines of communication you create a mutually beneficial relationship that will serve both you and your client for the length of the project and future work together.
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