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  7. How to Maintain Strong Client Relationships...

Before coronavirus, many businesses were already turning to remote work to improve efficiency and productivity. But now, with the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent pandemic, working remotely has become the norm for many companies.
Whilst this way of working has plenty of benefits, building and maintaining strong relationships can also be challenging when you’re not face-to-face. Here are a few tips to help you keep your client relationships strong, even when working from afar.

1. Make sure you’re staying in touch

One of the most important things you can do to maintain solid relationships is to keep in touch. This means regular check-ins, either by phone or video call, to catch up on projects and discuss any concerns.

It’s also essential to keep your clients updated on your progress, whether that’s through regular reports or simply letting them know what you’re working on. This will help them feel involved in the project and better understand how you’re progressing.

2. Be responsive to their needs

Another key to maintaining solid relationships is being responsive to their needs. This means being available when they need you, whether for a quick question or a more detailed discussion.

It can be helpful to set up regular check-ins so that you can both plan for and address any issues. But even if there’s no scheduled meeting, ensure you’re available to respond to their inquiries promptly.

3. Be transparent about your process

When remote working, it’s essential to be transparent about your process. This means letting your clients know how you’re working and what they can expect from you.

If there are any project changes or availability changes, make sure you communicate this to your clients as soon as possible. And if anything could impact the project, don’t hesitate to reach out and let them know.

4. Keep your promises

One of the most important things you can do to maintain solid relationships is to keep your promises. This means meeting deadlines, delivering on what you’ve promised, and being honest if there are any issues.

If you make a mistake, own up to it and apologize. And if you need to make a change to the project, be sure to communicate this to your clients so that they’re always in the loop.

5. Ask for feedback

Finally, don’t forget to ask for feedback from your clients. This helps ensure that you’re meeting their needs and allows you to address any concerns.

Make sure you’re open to constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to improve your process. And always thank your clients for their feedback, even if it’s not what you want to hear.

Working from home doesn’t have to mean sacrificing strong client relationships.

Build Trust

Building trust with your team and customers can be complex when working away from an office. You might not have the opportunity to meet in person very often, or you might feel like you’re not getting the same level of communication as you would if you were in the office together. Whatever the reason, trust is essential to the success of any remote team. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.

1. Be clear and concise in your communication

When working from home, it’s essential to be clear and concise in your communication. Your team needs to understand your instructions and know what you expect from them. If there is any ambiguity in your messages, it will only lead to confusion and mistrust.

2. Be responsive to your team’s questions and concerns

You must be responsive to their needs if your team has questions or concerns. Let them know that you’re available to answer any questions they might have and address any concerns they might have. By being responsive, you’re showing your team that you care about their success and that you’re willing to help them in any way you can.

3. Make sure your team has the resources they need to be successful

If you want your team to succeed, you need to ensure they have the resources they need to do their jobs. This means giving them access to the tools and information they need to do their work effectively. If your team doesn’t have what they need to be successful, it will only lead to frustration and mistrust.

4. Follow through on your promises

If you make a promise to your team, you must follow through on that promise. Whether it’s something as simple as completing a task by a specific deadline or providing feedback on a project if you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do it. If you don’t follow through on your promises, your team will start to doubt your word and lose trust in you.

5. Be transparent in your decision-making

When making decisions that affect your team, you must be transparent in your process. Let your team know why you’re making the decisions you are and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible. By being transparent, you’re showing your team that you value their input and want to ensure they’re on board with the decisions you’re making.

Building trust with your remote team is essential to the success of your business. Following these tips can create a trusting environment that will lead to a more productive and successful team to ensure customers are well taken care of and satisfied.

Establish a Routine

Whether you’re a freelancer, consultant, or small business owner, developing and maintaining trust with clients is essential to your success. And while there are many ways to build rapport and keep clients happy, one of the best things you can do is establish a routine.

A consistent routine makes you more organized and efficient and shows your clients that you’re reliable and trustworthy. Plus, when you have a routine in place, it’s easier to anticipate your client’s needs and address any concerns before they become significant.

Of course, maintaining a routine can be challenging when you’re in a remote setting. But with a bit of planning and effort, it’s possible. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Set regular hours and stick to them.

If you want your clients to see you as a dependable professional, it’s important to set regular work hours and then do your best to stick to them. This doesn’t mean you can never take a day off or work flexible hours, but generally, it’s best to maintain some consistency.

2. Overcommunicate early and often.

When you’re not in the same office as your clients, it’s even more important to keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you regularly check in via phone, email, or video chat (whatever is most convenient for your clients). And if there are any changes to your schedule or routine, inform your clients as soon as possible.

3. Get organized and stay on top of deadlines.

If you’re working on multiple projects for different clients, staying organised and keeping track of deadlines is essential. An excellent way to do this is to create a system that works for you using a physical planner or an online project management tool. And be sure to overcommunicate with your clients if there are any changes or delays in the project timeline.

4. Be available when your clients need you.

Even if you have set work hours, you must be available when your clients need you. This might mean being available for last-minute requests or being flexible with your schedule. Of course, you don’t want to be at your client’s beck and call 24/7. But if you can be reasonably available when they need you, it will go a long way in maintaining strong customer relationships.

5. Follow up after every interaction.

Whenever you interact with a client, whether it’s a phone call, meeting, or email exchange, be sure to follow up afterwards. This shows that you’re paying attention and caring about the project. Plus, it allows you to address any concerns or questions that might have come up during the conversation.

Developing strong customer relationships takes time and effort. But if you’re willing to put in the work, it can be a great way to build rapport, keep clients happy, and grow your business.

Establish How You Will Communicate

It’s no secret that customer relationships are essential for any business. But what happens when you can’t meet face-to-face? How do you maintain strong customer relationships while working from locations outside of the office?

Here are a few tips:

1. Establish how you will communicate.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential to establish communication protocols early on. Will you use email, video conferencing, or phone calls? Or a combination of all three? Whatever you decide, set expectations with your clients, so there are no surprises down the road.

2. Keep the lines of communication open.

Regular communication is key to maintaining strong relationships with clients. This means responding to client inquiries promptly and keeping them updated on the status of their project. If you need to step back from communication for some time, inform your clients in advance.

3. Build trust.

Trust is essential for any relationship, but it’s essential in relationships. Be honest with your clients about what you can and can’t do. If there are any issues with the project, be upfront about them. And always follow through on your promises.

4. Show appreciation.

Make sure to show your clients how much you appreciate their business. This could be as simple as sending a handwritten thank-you note or offering a discount on future services. Whatever you do, take the time to show your clients that you value their business.

Maintaining relationships doesn’t have to be complicated. Following these tips can keep your clients happy and build lasting relationships.

Get Deeper

As we all adjust to social distancing and working in remote environments, building strong client relationships with our clients is more important than ever. Here are a few tips on how to do that, some of which have been covered above:

1. Make sure you’re keeping in touch regularly. Schedule regular check-ins via video chat, phone, or email. This will help you stay up-to-date on what’s going on with your client and their business and let them know you’re still invested in their success.

2. Keep the lines of communication open. Encourage your clients to reach out to you with any questions or concerns. Let them know you’re always available to help.

3. Show your appreciation. Send a handwritten note or small gift to let your clients know you’re thinking of them. A little gesture can go a long way in maintaining a solid relationship.

4. Offer discounts or special deals. Show your clients that you value their business by offering discounts on your services or products. This will show them you’re invested in their success, even during tough times.

5. Make sure you’re still providing top-notch service. Even though you may be working remotely, it’s essential to maintain the same high level of service you provide when meeting in person. This will ensure your clients are still getting the best possible experience from working with you.

By following these tips, you can maintain strong relationships with your clients, even when you can’t be in the same room. So get out there and start connecting!

Set Clear Deadlines and Expectations

It’s no secret that maintaining strong relationships is essential to the success of any business. But what happens when you can’t meet face-to-face? How do you keep the lines of communication open and build remote relationships?

Here are a few tips:

1. Set clear deadlines and expectations from the start. When working with clients remotely, it’s even more important to be clear about deadlines and expectations from the outset. Setting realistic timelines and communicating regularly can avoid misunderstandings and keep projects on track.

2. Use video conferencing to stay connected. If possible, regular schedule video calls with your clients instead of just relying on email or phone calls. Seeing each other’s faces will help you feel more connected, and it’s a great way to build rapport.

3. Make time for small talk. Small talk is often an essential part of building relationships in face-to-face interactions. When you’re talking to clients on the phone or via email, take a few minutes to ask about their families, their hobbies, or anything else that’s going on in their lives.

4. Stay responsive. Responding quickly to client inquiries shows that you’re attentive and value their business. If you can’t respond immediately, let them know when they can expect a response.

By following these tips, you can maintain strong client relationships even if you cannot meet in person.

Be an Active Listener

When talking with a customer, you must be an active listener. This means paying attention to what they’re saying and asking questions to ensure you understand their needs. It can be easy to get caught up in your thoughts when someone is talking to you, but if you want to provide excellent customer service, it’s essential to focus on the person in front of you.

Active listening also involves nonverbal communication. Make sure you’re making eye contact and nodding your head occasionally to show that you’re following along when using video conferencing. These small gestures can make a big difference in how the conversation goes.

Finally, don’t forget to repeat back what the customer has said. This shows that you were listening, giving them a chance to correct you if you misunderstood anything.

If you practice active listening, you’ll be able to provide much better customer service. Your customers will feel heard and valued, and they’ll be more likely to do business with you in the future.

Make Sure Your Technologies Are Compatible

When dealing with customers, ensuring your technologies are compatible is essential. Otherwise, you could waste time and money on incompatible products or services.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing remote customer management technologies:

1. Make sure the products or services you’re using are compatible.

2. Check for compatibility with your existing systems and infrastructure.

3. Be sure to thoroughly test any new remote customer management technology before implementing it.

4. Keep an eye out for updates and changes that could affect compatibility down the road.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your remote customer management technologies are compatible and effective.

Acknowledge if You’ve Made a Mistake

When dealing with customers, it’s important to acknowledge if you’ve made a mistake. This shows that you’re taking responsibility for your actions and are willing to work to fix the problem.

If you don’t acknowledge your mistakes, they can reflect poorly on you and your company. Customers may feel you’re not being honest or transparent, damaging your relationship with them.

So, if you make a mistake when dealing with customers, take a deep breath and own up to it. Then, work to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Your customers will appreciate your honesty and effort, and it will help improve your relationship with them in the long run.

Final Words

At the pandemic’s start, people forgave poor customer service as companies struggled to readjust to operating under strict lockdown conditions. Technological infrastructure was weak, so people were only set up for onsite working, not remote.

Three years later, many companies have failed to catch up and are using a lack of staff as the latest excuse for poor service.

Companies need to invest in technology that will allow them to deliver a great customer experience and are focused on building customer relationships, not destroying them.

If you want help and advice in maintaining strong remote relationships for your business growth contact me.

Head over to my podcast How To Sustain Client Relationships And Revenue with Kathleen Cutler’s to hear more sales tips.

F.A.Q.s

How do you build client relationships remotely?

It’s not easy to build relationships this way, but it is possible. The key is to be intentional about your interactions and make the most of the tools available.

Here are a few tips for building relationships:

  • Make sure you’re staying in touch regularly. Whether it’s weekly check-ins or monthly updates, keeping in touch with your clients is essential.
  • Get creative with your communication. In addition to phone calls and emails, try using video conferencing or snail mail. Always find out what your client’s preferred communication method is.
  • Be responsive to their needs. If your clients need something, make sure you’re there for them. This could mean being available for extra calls or providing additional resources.
  • Get feedback and take it to heart. Ask your clients how you’re doing and what you can do better. Then, make sure to act on their feedback.

Building strong client relations takes effort, but it’s well worth it. By being intentional about your interactions and responsive to your client’s needs, you can create lasting relationships that will benefit both of you.

What techniques do you use to maintain strong client relationships?

Many people think that maintaining relationships is all about meeting face to face. But that’s not always possible if you’re in a remote work situation. Here are some tips for maintaining customer relationships while working remotely:

1. Keep communication channels open. Make sure you have regular check-ins with your clients, whether over the phone, via video conferencing, or through email. This will help keep everyone on the same page and ensure everyone is still feeling connected.

2. Be responsive. When your clients reach out to you, make sure to respond promptly. This shows that you value their business and their time.

3. Be proactive. Don’t wait for your clients to come to you with problems or issues. If you see something that needs to be addressed, bring it up proactively. This shows that you’re invested in the relationship and looking for their best interests.

4. Follow up. After every interaction with a client, make sure to follow up with them. This can be a simple email or even just a quick phone call. This shows that you care about their experience and want to ensure they’re happy with the results. A good CRM can help schedule tasks so you do not miss any follow-ups.

Maintaining solid relationships is essential, no matter where you are working from. By following these tips, you can ensure that your remote clients stay happy and satisfied with your work.

What is the importance of strong client relationships?

Relationships are essential for any business. They help build and maintain trust, rapport and can lead to repeat business and referrals.

Without solid relationships, it can be challenging to build a successful business. That’s why taking the time to nurture your relationships is essential. Here are a few tips:

1. Be responsive to their needs. This means promptly returning phone calls and emails and being available when they need you.

2. Keep your promises. If you say you will do something, make sure you follow through.

3. Be honest. Clients appreciate honesty, even if it’s not what they want to hear.

4. Be helpful. Go above and beyond to help your clients, even if it’s not directly related to your business.

5. Be friendly and personable. Take the time to get to know your clients on a personal level.

6. Show appreciation. Send thank-you notes, offer discounts, or do something special to show your clients how much you appreciate their business.

 

“Remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.”

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