Running a successful home business can be a very rewarding experience. That said, it can also feel complicated sometimes. You may get discouraged if you allow yourself to get overwhelmed with all the tasks and duties associated with owning your own business.
That doesn’t need to happen. Yes, when you focus on the specifics, it is true there are many tasks involved in running a business, from setting a budget to completing projects. That said, succeeding as a business owner is actually fairly simple, even if it’s not always easy. You just need to provide your clients with valuable products or services.
Thus, it’s important to focus on strengthening your relationships with clients, particularly if you perform collaborative, long-term work with clients. You don’t want to constantly win new clients, only to lose them in the near future. These client relationship tips will help. If you’re looking for ways to ensure you don’t lose the clients you earn, keep them in mind.
Treat Them as Unique Individuals
Don’t make the mistake of promising personalized service while treating all your clients the same. You’re much more likely to make the right impression if you get to know the individual needs of each customer, particularly for clients with high-volume needs and/or with whom you will work on an ongoing basis.
For instance, maybe you have a small home business developing websites and content for other businesses. Maybe one of your clients is an attorney. When they need updates to their website, you need to know precisely what their specific goals are in order to deliver a strong finished product. What type of brand do they want the website to represent? Are they focused on attracting local clients, or do they want to expand their reach? How can added content, such as a blog, help them attract more visitors?
The answers to these questions will be different for a client who is an attorney and one who sells apparel via an online store. In addition, for a client who sold apparel, you’d also ask yourself how ecommerce solutions can improve such a website. You’d ask how visuals can make the products more appealing. You’d consider how to make the site easy to navigate for people seeking specific items.
This is key. By treating each client as unique, instead of taking a “one size fits all” approach, you’ll better serve their individual needs.
Know How They Like to be Involved
Another factor to consider when tailoring your approach to each client is the degree to which different clients want to be involved in the process of setting goals and completing projects. For example, maybe some clients want to be actively involved. They contact you relatively frequently, they make suggestions, and they monitor your progress to ensure you’re on schedule. This type of client would likely appreciate if you got in touch with them often to provide updates or ask questions.
On the other hand, you may have other clients who prefer to outsource and truly delegate their involvement. After establishing goals for the project, they’d prefer it if you worked independently, only getting in touch with them when it’s truly necessary to do so.
You’ll make the wrong impression on the latter clients if you’re reaching out to them with every minor question and update you have. Even if you’re well-intentioned, it will indicate you aren’t accounting for their other priorities. As a result, the next time they need your services, they might hire someone else.
Get Personal (to an Extent)
Your initial interactions with clients will usually be somewhat formal and professional. While you don’t want to come across as a robot, you don’t want to be so casual that the nature of the relationship resembles a friendship more than it resembles a client-vendor relationship.
That said, if you’re going to be working for the same clients for a long period of time, eventually, you want them to get to know you a bit, and vice versa. You’ll reach a point where it’s acceptable to include a little bit of personal information in your communications with them. For example, maybe you want to let a client know your availability is changing because of a family obligation. You might use this as an opportunity to share information about your family members’ interests or hobbies.
Share this kind of minor personal information, and clients may begin to feel more comfortable sharing similar information about themselves. This leads to a closer relationship in which you’re more likely to have their trust. If you are on friendly terms with your clients, it might be easier to address challenges and mistakes when they arise.
The point to keep in mind is that this is all fairly simple. Yes, it takes work to implement these tips, but the importance of client relations can’t be overstated. When you treat each client as an individual, and focus on pleasing them, you’re far more likely to succeed as a home-based business owner.