There’s nothing worse as a business owner than dealing with an unhappy client. It takes no time at all for a relationship to dissolve into something unpleasant when things go wrong. I’d like to share a few ideas that, in my experience, can help you to keep you on your clients’ good side at all times. Ready?
When In Doubt, Communicate
I firmly believe that 95% of client issues result from a lack of communication. Sure, you might be working away on a client project, doing a great job, but if your client doesn’t hear from you for weeks, they are going to start to get nervous. When you are kicking off a new project, set the expectation early of when clients can expect to hear from you. I find weekly updates work well, with daily updates when getting close to critical project milestones. Even just a quick email to check in can be enough to keep the client satisfied that things are on track.
Deal With Problems Before They Become Bigger Issues
Part of the secret of being a good project manager is being able to predict issues before they blow up. Keep a close eye on all aspects of project work, and if you notice something is not quite right, take steps to resolve it before it becomes a big issue. Often you’ll be able to solve problems before the client is even aware there was an issue, and they will be very happy about that!
Face to Face Trumps All
I have many clients that live in different cities and the only way we communicate is generally by email or the occasional phone call. However, there are times, particularly if there’s a big problem or conflict, when finding a way to meet face-to-face is going to be best. If you can’t travel to see your client in person, do the next best thing – video conference. Being able to look someone in the eye when you’re talking to them builds trust and can also help to alleviate tension.
Do Nice Things For Them
I think one of the best ways to maintain a good relationship with your clients is to be nice to them. This could mean sending a special gift to celebrate a successful web site launch, a holiday greeting card, taking them to lunch or simply phoning them to check in once in a while. Not only will this keep you “top of mind”, it will go a long way to show you really care about the relationship and enjoy doing business with them.
Happy clients make happy business owners. It doesn’t take much to maintain solid client relationships, and every little bit helps. Keep your clients happy and you’ll be successful!