The success of a business hinges on strong relationships. The aim should always be to provide an exceptional service to the client that moves your business from being viewed as a vendor to a trusted partner of your client. The list below outlines the steps to take to make this crucial transition.
Get to know your clients company and their industry. By understanding their business you can speak from the same page as your client, understand the challenges of their business and cater your approach to meet the needs of the client.
Once you know your clients business and what they need to progress you can expand the core offerings of your business to cater for the client. Customized solutions to your clients needs can open additional sources of revenue and grow a strong relationship with a client.
Make Every Client A Priority
Keeping clients happy is a great source of referrals and a way to grow your business. Provide a great service to all your clients no matter the size of the business. You never know who the client knows and what future leads they may bring to you. If the client switches jobs or receives a promotion you want to be recommended to their new team. Businesses expand fast and the small client you keep happy today could be a large client tomorrow.
Provide Great Customer Service
Always respond to clients promptly. Even if you do not have the immediate answers for the client acknowledge their query. They will be reassured to know you have received their question and that you are on the case.
Go Beyond Email
Communication through email dominates the business world but can be misinterpreted if you and your client are not very familiar. The least you should do is to pick up the phone and if possible try to involve Skype or an in-person meeting. It pays to put a face to a name and helps to build a stronger relationship with clients.
Plan The Next Steps
After a meeting or business conversation with a client you should always recap and put forward your next steps. This way both you and your client know how you want to move ahead. Making sure you and your client are both reading from the same script and preventing any confusion later.
Relationships take time to build. It can pay to make a personal connection with your client but the future of the partnership will hinge on the quality of your work and honesty. Not insincere flattery. Provide great work and build relationships over time.