Nothing is more important than ensuring that the communication you have with your clients is productive. There are many ways to communicate with a client. They encompass words and actions. Sometimes the words are spoken and sometimes they are written. But for all communication, your actions speak volumes above the words that you use. Ensure that your actions back up your words for the most effective form of communication. Here are some tips.
* Engage with Clients – There are numerous ways you can engage with your clients, from a private Facebook group, to open office hours, to weekly Skype calls, to answering emails quickly. The more you can engage with your clients and the more they feel that you’re open to communication, the better.
* Show Empathy to Your Clients – Sometimes, especially when a client is complaining about something, it can be hard to be empathetic. But, you must always put yourself in your client’s shoes and look at things from their perspective in every interaction. When a client reacts badly to something, don’t respond to their poor behavior; respond to the actual problem. They’ll feel heard and it will help.
* Ask Clients for Feedback – A great way to open up communication with your clients is to show them some of your half- finished work and ask their opinion on it. That might be scary because they might respond going in a new direction than you thought, but it can help make them more satisfied with your work.
* Ask Questions Directly to Your Clients – Don’t be afraid to ask your clients direct questions about anything you’re working on with them. Ask them if they liked your work, how they’d improve it, and what suggestions they have for future work together.
* Solve Their Problems – Be proactive with your clients and when you see a problem that they have that you can solve, or you know who can solve it, share that with them. Clients want their problems solved and even if they don’t take your advice, they’ll appreciate your knowledge and expertise.
* Act as Educator – You are an expert in your niche and your clients should view you that way in order to have a good relationship. Feel free to educate them on the area you have your expertise in. They’ll appreciate your voice as an expert.
* Create Better Contracts – If you do have contracts with your clients, then the best way to make your communication work is to work on perfecting your contracts. When an issue comes up with one client, be sure to take that as education on how to make the contract with the next client even better. (Need contracts or templates? I got ’em!)
* Be Free with Your Opinion – The worst thing you can do is not give your client your opinion. You want to work with people who value your opinion, so be sure to give it. Always state that it’s your opinion with some facts to back it up. Make it clear that they can go in whatever direction they want, but this is your expert opinion.
* Always Be Yourself – Don’t try to put on someone else’s personality. Only you can be you, and that’s who your clients hired. Keep being yourself always. Even if it’s scary sometimes, and even if a client might let you go due to who you are, those who stick with you will be a joy.
* Send Them a Survey – Follow up with your clients at least yearly with a survey asking them about your work, products and services. Having this yearly feedback will help you do better in the future with them and other clients as well as provide the basis for increasing your rates.
Taking some time each year to review past communications with clients, analyze how you could do better, and working on improving will go far in helping you become an even bigger success.