Establishing expectations from the start is critical to the long-lasting success of any relationship. In business, the first opportunity to set those expectations is prospecting and early sales conversations. In these early stages, doing the small things can be really impactful. Follow up quickly, arrive to meetings early, provide only useful information and support that information with insight that is easy to understand. Essentially, demonstrate that you respect them and value their time, because you will want the same.
Once a prospect becomes a client, there are other areas that require attention to maintain the positive growth. Don’t overlook the details needed to manage these relationships. To ensure details aren’t missed, implement a client management plan that includes these key areas:
Aligning expectations early on is important to cultivating valuable relationships and ensuring success for the long haul. Outline these expectations in a client management plan and insist your team follows that plan. When executed consistently, an effective client management plan will improve client satisfaction, client retention and increase referrals.
Many business owners will find the notion of creating a client management plan daunting. We suggest working with someone who has helped other business owners through the process. A business advisor, who has helped to implement systems with many entrepreneurs with many different challenges, is an excellent resource. We are that resource, when you’re ready.
Since the beginning of time, humans have communicated using primitive drawings, bartering, nonverbal actions and face-to-face conversations. These early forms facilitated the spread of knowledge, ideas and the formation of relationships. As times advanced, communication took on an entirely new face – a digital face in an increasingly technology dependent world. Through the best of change and the worst, no matter how fast-paced, communication has always played a fundamental role in all facets of life.
Effective communication is essential to developing a strong business. Successful client communication is key to gaining new business. Initial contact establishes the tone of the relationship. As the relationship progresses, it’s critical the communication does too. Regular conversations with your client base guarantees you’re always adapting and growing to meet their requirements. However, maintaining regular communication can be difficult at times. It’s imperative that you implement a client communication plan to effectively manage conversations with your clients.
Communication is an effective tool to gauge client satisfaction with your business, products and services. Utilise your communication plan, to outline and monitor which techniques best attract your ideal prospects. Once you onboard that prospect, adjust your communication plan to better support the relationship. Identify how you will communicate – phone, email automation, social media, personalised email, etc. – with each client or group of clients. Address how often you will communicate with each client. Follow up quickly, request feedback, provide useful information and update clients regularly. Use new information gained for potential upsells and new client projects.
Understand that, more often than not, over-communicating is more beneficial than under-communicating. That being said, there’s a fine line between effectively versus ineffectively over-communicating. You don’t want to come across as if you’re bombarding or pestering your clients. A strong communication plan will ensure all of your communication efforts are valuable, powerful and effective. Not to mention, it will provide clarity around timelines, deliverables and what’s important to both client and business.
Demonstrate your firm’s high communication standards and hold your team accountable to following the communication plan. Your client relationships will thrive leading to increased client satisfaction, retention and referrals. Ultimately supporting your main goal of generating more revenue.
Developing a client communication plan will be a difficult, time-consuming task for many business owners. There are many details that are incorporated into an effective communication plan. We recommend working with someone who has experience creating and implementing different strategies. A business advisor is a perfect resource to complete this process. When you’re ready, we’re here to help.