Effective communication with clients is essential for any organization that offers its services to third parties, yet there are so many ways to handle this inefficiently, along with bad habits that are worth breaking out of.
To make you a master of client communication, here are just a few pieces of advice which should steer you down the right path.
Save time with the best tools
Modern software can streamline all of your communications and make life easier for you and your clients alike.
For example, services like Docsketch allow you to electronically sign your key documents, contracts and other essential documentation which removes the need for your clients to add their signature to a paper copy. This ultimately speeds up important transactions and makes it easier for clients to work with you on an ongoing basis.
Likewise with modern email-focused helpdesk solutions like Zendesk, you can process messages sent by current and prospective clients quickly and with a greater degree of effectiveness, keeping everyone satisfied and loyal.
Leverage language with care
When it comes to managing clients well, your use of language is just as important as your overall responsiveness.
For example, you should avoid referring to yourself in the singular, and instead use ‘we’ wherever possible in your written communication. This will demonstrate that you consider yourself to be part of a team with the client, with identical aims and intentions.
Another word to avoid is ‘you’, as referring to your client like this can sound cold at best and like an outright accusation at worst. It is best to write in a way that does not place blame at the feet of the client, even if your intention is to highlight a misunderstanding that has occurred.
Choose the right channel for the circumstances
While sending an email may be all that’s required in some scenarios, in others you will be better off calling a client to discuss an issue directly, or even communicating with them via video conferencing software if this is convenient.
Conversations which take place in real time can be much more efficient for hashing out the details of the more complex aspects of a project.
Of course not all clients will be amenable to the idea of regular calls, and it is very much a generational affair. Use your discretion, read the situation and consider the client’s background to select the most appropriate course of action.
The one thing which all clients will appreciate is consistency of communication, not just in terms of the tone you use and the approach you take, but also when it comes to the frequency with which you touch base.
While it is not necessary to give them updates every five minutes, it does pay to provide an overview of progress regularly so that they feel involved with the process and so that they are given the opportunity to provide input without needing to go out of their way to do so. Most importantly be willing to listen to feedback and adapt your communications strategies over time.