[This article was written by Kayleigh Alexandra.]
Whether you sell products, offer a service, or simply provide strategic guidance, your business will need to deal with clients in ways that go beyond the basic requirements — and it’s hugely important to do it well, because poorly-managed clients are far more likely to give up and go elsewhere. In this post, we’re going to set out some general client management tips that apply across industries and company types. Let’s get to them.
Show some genuine personality
Particularly in the B2B world where it’s very common to have long-lasting client relationships, there’s a lot of value in moving past dispassionate business associations and actually getting to know your clients on a personal level. Not only does this help you to understand them (and sell to them more effectively), but it also helps them trust you and be more willing to spend.
Key to this is moving past your brand identity and getting members of staff involved. Instead of dealing with your faceless support team, your clients should have specific points of contact: it will give them confidence that their concerns will be handled appropriately and responsibly. Work this into your content marketing (team profiles can be very effective) and you can even turn your employees into celebrated experts, helping your brand feel special.
Get ahead of major queries
Clients always hate being left in the dark about what’s happening, so when they decide to reach out with pertinent questions (like “How is the campaign doing?” or “When is the next payment date”?), it’s a strong sign that they’re already displeased to some extent. They expect that information to be delivered when useful, so that’s exactly what you should do.
Plan ahead so you know what details clients will find useful and when you should provide it. Polish your reporting process to ensure that the foundational elements are always ready to go when it’s time to populate the data, and maintain great lines of communication so you can pick up on client frustrations and address them before they become major problems.
Cater to each client’s value
Not all clients are identically (or even comparably) valuable to your business, and if you don’t factor that into your client management then you’ll end up wasting important resources. For example, if you’re only making a small amount of money from a client that’s being very demanding, there isn’t much point in putting a lot of effort into keeping that client happy.
But if you’re making a tidy profit from a client that’s being perfectly reasonable, it makes all the sense in the world in making it a priority to keep that client happy. You want more work from that client and others like it. It’s surprisingly easy to end up wasting time on clients that don’t truly warrant your effort because you get stuck in the mindset of trying to keep every client — but some clients aren’t ultimately worth keeping, and there are better options out there.
Each of these tips, used correctly, can make a big difference when it comes to managing your most valuable clients. Establish some personal connections, be proactive when dealing with issues and keeping clients updated, and stop wasting time on clients that will only ever drag you down. Manage that, and you’ll be in a much better position.
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