If you’re in a customer-facing role, you’ll know that a key part of your job is doing everything in your power to help your clients achieve their particular business goals. You’ll probably also know that the first step to being able to effectively guide and help your customers is building and nurturing rock-solid relationships with them.
While every client, and therefore every client relationship, is different, we’ve put together five strategies that can be applied across the board to take your client relationship game to the next level (not to mention your customer success goals, too).
1. Do your research.
As the old saying goes, first impressions count. So, make sure that you come across as capable, confident, and knowledgeable from the very start. One of the best ways to do this is to spend some time doing thorough client research before your first meeting or call. Get to know as much as you can about the company, the specific person you’re going to be speaking to, and their line of work. Take the time to educate yourself about their wider industry and make sure that you understand their role in it.
It’s not all about business, however. A touch of humanness goes a long way, too. In conversation, draw from personal experiences, show your excitement and allow yourself to becomemexpressive when appropriate. It will allow your client to feel more at ease in your presence and lay the foundations for a trusting working relationship.
2. Explain your process.
Remember that while you’re super familiar with your software and your process, your client isn’t. In fact, they’ve probably never used your tool, or anything like it, before (and they’ve quite possibly never worked with a customer success team either). Take the time to walk new clients through your process, making sure that they understand the actions you’ll be taking and why. Doing this will both set their expectations and help them understand their own responsibilities in the partnership.
3. Stay on your client’s radar by scheduling regular check-ins.
Setting regular project or retainer check-ins is an important part of nurturing client relationships. Checking in regularly – whether over Zoom or on the phone – builds a rapport and keeps your finger firmly on the pulse of your client’s projects. Work out a time and frequency that works for both of you, and don’t be tempted to skip check-ins, even if it feels like there’s nothing much to update your client on.
4. Sincerely ask for feedback – and act on it.
Don’t be afraid of feedback, even when it’s negative. What’s more, you don’t have to wait until the end of a project lifecycle to ask for feedback either; let your customers know that you’re open to feedback at any point in the project. Always, always take customer feedback seriously and don’t shy away from taking ownership of mistakes and problems. Your customer will respect your transparency and appreciate the implementation of a clear, lightning-fast plan of action to rectify any issues.
5. Make communication as easy as possible.
Excellent communication is absolutely key to customer success. Set communication expectations early on in the client relationship; let clients know when they can contact you and through which channels. Can they reach out to you after 5pm or not? Should they use email or Slack to contact you, or will they get a faster response if they call you? Make sure that your customers know how best to get in touch with you and that they feel 100% comfortable reaching out to you when they have a question or need help.
The right technology can revolutionize the way you communicate with your customers. For example, the Morphed Customer Portal helps customer success teams strengthen client relationships and grow client accounts. It does this by giving your customers access to their own app where they can conveniently engage with you throughout a project’s lifecycle.
In the app, clients can accept proposals and make payment, request services, submit briefs, track project milestones and payment statuses, and even rate and review work delivered. Because communication takes place in one centralized portal, it’s easy for clients to keep track of all their communication with your organization, without having to sift through countless disjointed emails and messages from various points of contact.