Communication is vital to a successful business and relationship with your clients – it should lie at the heart of everything you do.
Regular and effective communication ensures that your client is kept up-to-date with your work for them or with your product. It all helps to develop a trusting relationship. You can keep your clients in the loop in a variety of ways, from physical to digital contact.
It can be difficult to decide which way works best for you and your clients, or even to arrange the best means of communication and stick to it. So, eCard Shack has picked out some of the best tips for keeping in contact with your clients that you can make a part of your business.
Read on to find out how to communicate regularly with your clients…
Why is communication important?
You want to succeed and you want your clients to be successful too, the best way to start this is with communication.
You know what is working for them, and they for you – you begin to understand each other. This can be learning about each other’s processes, team members, plans for the next month or quarter, and whether a current plan of action is returning the desired results.
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You can’t go through a relationship without communication in any environment, it won’t last. Think if you’re a client and you hear nothing from a business overseeing your interests in marketing, for example. What would you think? Perhaps, ‘are they doing any work?’ or ‘is what we’re paying for actually working?’. No communication is fraught with danger.
There are a host of ways for businesses to keep in contact with clients nowadays thanks to modern technology. But by far the easiest is a regular email update.
Regular email updates can be broken down into two types – weekly or monthly updates and quarterly reports. If it is a client that has a lot of work being produced regularly, you should send a weekly update of everything done and results achieved – if you can in that time frame.
As one of the most effective client communication strategies, you will need to get all of your team members on board for this to work. Let them understand what needs to be done and by when to include it in an update. Using marketing again, you can get your SEO, content and social media teams to each say what has been done over the last week and what is planned for the following week.
To build on weekly updates, you should consider monthly or quarterly report emails. These are a great way to include much more detail over a longer period of time. You can, metaphorically, walk your clients through everything – rankings, results, how they compare to this point last year, for example. It’s a great way for them to see what you’re doing and how their investment in you is paying off.
Along with email updates, you can include catch-up calls and meetings with clients on a regular basis – such as monthly, bi-monthly or before a new quarter.
Platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom and Microsoft Teams allow for you to virtually meet face-to-face with your clients easily. These are a great way of discussing plans, new business, rounding up the past month or reacting to urgent situations.
These meetings and calls are especially useful if you know your client becomes extremely busy around certain times of the year, preventing a physical meeting. You can connect from anywhere and even share documents at realtime, so they or you can see each other’s plans and feedback for a quick response.
A call can get everyone involved in the business-client relationship on the same page and understand what is needed from them. Also, it can be an opportunity to introduce new people involved in the relationship – such as new staff you’ve taken on. This can work much better than an email for building familiarity with everyone and hearing their ideas.
Nothing helps more to maintain communication and a positive business relationship than a physical face-to-face meeting.
These don’t have to be regular occurrences, maybe once or twice a year can be enough, but make sure you do visit them or they come to you at least once each year. These are a great way to be open and honest with each other and get a read on what people are actually like that can’t be achieved virtually.
If you have had a few new hires in your business, and they will be heading-up a significant part of your client’s work, it is always best to have them meet in person. You may be surprised by what you learn and who you meet. On many occasions, you will find that there are more people that you can collaborate with, especially in marketing, for example.
Aside from the usual meeting, you can even introduce your clients to your wider staff and show them how your business operates – and they can do the same for you. An alternative is to meet at or share an event. This may be unlikely to happen, but it will often generate new ideas for both your business and theirs.
Mark Special Occasions
This may be a little unorthodox to some, but congratulating clients on anniversaries, milestones or recognition can boost a relationship.
A simpler step is to wish your clients well at Christmas or New Year. Clients respond to the personal touch and reaching out for special occasions can have a huge impact. This could be through a personalised email, a social media message or an ecard.
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There are plenty of designs to choose from at eCard Shack and it’s a nice, eco-friendly touch to offer your best wishes at this festive time. Many businesses have their busiest time at Christmas and may well appreciate a personal message of support. This is a great way to build a relationship with clients, so they’ll think of you if they need additional services in the future.