Building Supportive Client Relationships

Everyone is a client.

starbucks2When you walk into Starbucks and order a drink, you’re a client. When you sit down in your barber’s chair, you’re a client. When you type into your Internet browser in the hopes of finding that glorious electric screwdriver, you are a client.

Your intention as a client is to acquire the assistance of a business to provide you with the service and/or product that you need. As clients, we want the red carpet rolled out for us and to be greeted by very pleasant client representatives who are eager to assist us with our needs.  We want awesome customer service!

When you are a representative working with a client, you should treat your client as you would like to be treated, and build a sustainable relationship to further your business and their success.

advisory-500x500Building and maintaining relationships with your clients is the most essential aspect of business management. Having lasting and trusting relationships with your clients will retain their business, and keep you from losing valuable projects. There are 5 fundamental rules to building supportive relationships with clients:

Connect With The Client
This doesn’t mean to divulge all of your private information to them, and it doesn’t mean you can treat them casually, as you might an old friend. Rather, strive to understand and know their driving force, and what they wish to accomplish overall. Show them that they are valuable clients, and that you care about what you are doing for them. Make them feel like they are the only company you’re working with, even though you may have several clients.

Motivate The Client With A Vision
Understand the vision of the client’s company. It’s important to believe in their vision, and then articulate it clearly to your team. Additionally, prepare a clear outline of the project, and how your team will support the client’s agenda. Your project plan should be set around well-defined objectives (what does your client want the customer to take away from the experience? What are the steps your team will take to reach expectations, and then excel expectation?).

Pour Confidence Into Your Team
This is pretty simple. Pour confidence through fantastic training, development, and management. Role model! Your team should know the client’s vision and the scope of the work that they are providing. They should believe in the company’s vision. Your team’s task execution is what makes the client successful. Boost them up, treat them well, and continually train and develop them on your project.

Improve The Project
True, the client comes to you for specific assistance, and hires you based on scope. It is your job to ask them what more you can do for them! Examine their requests, and track the project. Watch for trends, and provide additional insight or analysis that will perhaps improve your team’s efforts, or your client’s goals. You have a chance to boost services for your company, and/or improve services for a client’s customers. Help your client grow, and then grow with your client.

Share What’s Going On
Communication is very important in all aspects of our lives, which includes our work lives. Keeping your client in the loop ensures smooth development and irons out any issues that may pop up along the way (and there are always issues that pop up along the way). Communicating keeps everyone on the same page. Reply promptly to your clients and politely to any and all inquiries. Be available to the client, and to your team. Extend the same courtesy to your team. A whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

These fundamental rules will help you to build supportive relationships with your client, and also your team!

Dwan McClendon
Project Manager

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