Great communication is the foundation of any successful client relationship. To establish a productive partnership, setting up a genuine connection with your clients through communication is key. The best client relationships result in higher client retention, satisfaction, and trust that can contribute to referrals – all great for a strong bottom line.
To establish close relationships with clients to develop these financial and reputational gains, paying attention to certain communication strategies is extremely important. Here are some factors to consider when communicating with clients to set up mutually beneficial connections.
Maintain the Right Attitude
A significant portion of any successful communication style is attitude. How you phrase certain concepts, your body language, and your outlook on your work in general can contribute to – or derail – a client interaction.
Positivity should be the first attitude you adopt if you’re looking to improve your communication with clients. No matter how unreasonable or last-minute a client’s request may be, never just say “no.” Instead, reframe the conversation to stay positive and find ways to make the client’s request work. If it’s simply impossible, being good-natured, and even humorous, about the situation can keep the conversation positive despite other difficulties.
A good way to ensure that all of your client-facing staff members keep this attitude is by including it in their trainings. Using a platform like SAP Success Factors will ensure that employees perform the trainings and learn the right attitudes to take when communicating with clients.
Tailor Your Language to Your Audience
It’s easy to get caught up in the jargon of your industry when communicating with clients; after all, it’s how you speak on a daily basis. However, it’s important to remember that not all clients speak your language. Alter how you describe and explain certain technical topics to cater to a non-technical audience.
This doesn’t mean you need to “dumb down” your language – it just means that you should take into account your client’s background and perspective to make sure you don’t lose them in the process. Correlating all technical information to your client’s business goals, keeping your explanations concise, and taking out any terms your grandmother or 14-year-old sibling won’t understand will all help ensure that your clients can understand you.
It’s important to always stay a step ahead of your clients to make communicating with them easier on you and your employees. Keep lines of communication open and take initiative to provide project updates and suggestions before they ask. This will establish trust in your company and your ideas.
For instance, setting a standard for open communication early on will prevent any misunderstandings later. Actively listen to your clients’ needs and concerns, envision the final product, and – perhaps most importantly – be comfortable with offering solutions.
Further, set up regular updates with your clients, especially for long-term projects. Even if they aren’t exciting, these updates will let your clients know you haven’t forgotten about them and that the project is important to you and your company. Giving regular updates without being asked will also let you get ahead of possible issues that may come up, as you’ll be able to let clients know about hang-ups before they become real problems and the clients can plan accordingly. Using a tool like Success Factors can help with project management and client updates, as it will keep all of your information in one place for easy access.
Don’t Ignore Telecommunication
Talking to your clients often is necessary for a communicative relationship. However, it can get difficult to keep clients engaged via email, the most popular method of business correspondence. Since email is easy to rush through or ignore, relying on it risks a conversational breakdown.
Using other tools like telecom is necessary to maintain strong lines of communication between you and your clients. It’s more difficult to dismiss a conversation in a phone or video meeting than through an email, as the client will actually be interacting with you and not text on a screen. This way, you can make sure that the client understands all goals, processes, and details about a project, avoiding potential conflict and confusion later.
Further, using telecommunication to talk with clients will ensure that you can read between the lines. Seeing or hearing your client’s reactions to your suggestions will help you gauge their interest and catch any hesitations they may have, allowing you to respond to those potential issues more quickly.
It doesn’t matter if the relationship is romantic, familial, or business-oriented; communication is key to success. By keeping in mind the importance of attitude, catering to client needs, and taking advantage of all the tools available, you can ensure strong communication and healthy client relationships.