Client Relationships


The Dos and Don’ts of Managing Client Relationships


Managing successful client relationships is the cornerstone of any business—whether you are starting out, are a leader in a given industry, or somewhere in between. Building and maintaining strong relationships is essential for business growth, long-term success, and customer satisfaction. 

Know your clients, anticipate their needs, and provide a service or product that will keep them coming back. After all, happy clients provide positive feedback and will likely refer you to others. That’s why it’s so important to nurture a relationship built on trust and loyalty.  Here are some dos and don’ts to help maintain and strengthen your relationship with clients:

Be proactive. Anticipate your client’s needs.  Make suggestions where needed. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you. Keep the lines of communication open. Being proactive shows you that you are paying attention to your client’s needs.  It also shows initiative in providing a memorable experience for your client.  One that will keep them coming back to you.

Set boundaries. Even if you want to go above and beyond for a client, you need to set boundaries of what you can and cannot deliver and when. This allows you and your team some breathing room for delivering projects as well as allowing you to give the proper attention to the client without having to compromise or rush other projects. 

Follow through with your commitments. If you make a commitment to your client, always follow through. Backing out on your word is bad form and just shows a lack of reliability on your part. Clients value and support businesses they know they can depend on.

Ask for feedback. Providing feedback allows your clients to feel seen and heard. You are telling them that their thoughts and opinions matter to you and your business. Listening to what a client has to say goes a long way to building loyalty.

Position yourself as a resource. Let’s say you currently don’t have the bandwidth to help a client with their needs but refer them to a reliable community partner to help them out with their project. Or if you help your client connect with other resources they may need. Positioning yourself as a resource for your client adds value to your product or services. This in turn strengthens your relationship with them. It not only lends to your credibility—it also shows the client that you are willing to take that extra step to help them.

Don’t overcommit. In the spirit of retaining customers and building brand loyalty, a business can fall into the trap of overcommitting and under delivering. Don’t do it. It is not fair to the client who receives a product or service that is subpar to what was promised. This is also a surefire way of losing clients. Do the opposite—minimal commitment but exceptional delivery of service or product.

Don’t stop communicating. In any relationship, communication is key. Clients expect updates and to be informed of any challenges to a current project. Radio silence is the worst thing you can do. Overcommunication is better than no communication at all. Communicating with the client shows that you are paying attention to their needs.

Don’t break a client’s trust. It takes time to build trust and only one misstep to break it. When a client puts their trust in your service and in your product, they are investing in your brand and your business. They trust that your services and products meet their needs. That trust keeps their loyalty to you. Ensure that you maintain said trust through continuous communication and committing to deliver above their expectations.

Maintaining client relationships is about trust and loyalty through  following through on your commitments to your clients, keeping open, transparent communication, and being proactive. A well-maintained relationship with clients results in the growth and success of your business. As with anything, consistency is key. Being consistent in how you manage your client relationships reinforces and maintains that relationship since there’s a clear set of expectations on both sides.