Sometimes the relationship between client and service provider can be a tense one.
There are endless reasons as to why the connection between you and your clients is not quite where you’d like it to be; Or why you still feel a bit of miscommunication going on despite your best efforts.
Successful communication requires a mutual agreement involving understanding on both sides. There are, however, a number of simple steps that can be taken on your end to help move the communication process forward.
Combining traditional methods of communicating with advanced technology is a good way to engage with clients across a multitude of platforms.
Because of the vast array of options, it’s extremely important that you:
Using SMS to contact a client late at night would be an example of misuse of this platform as it is unprofessional and invasive. An Email would be more appropriate in a non-urgent matter, or a phone call in the event of emergency.
Platforms used for marketing should be well curated and content relative. Call-to-action buttons should be present in numerous places on your webpage. Also, specific, informative banners and adverts that send clear messages to your clients are a sure success.
Social media is a fast progressing, efficient way of maintaining communication with clientele. Facebook and Twitter are frequently used platforms where you have direct contact with your clients 24/7.
Again, evaluate the times most appropriate to your business in which to make use of these avenues.
Regular business hours, or just a few hours after, tend to be the most acceptable times to make contact with clients on social media. After hours and weekends can become an irritation to the person on the receiving end & may harm the image of your brand.
Naturally, communicating with someone face-to-face is preferable and a lot easier when compared to electronic communication. It’s much easier to convey accurate tone, emphasis and humor while physically speaking. Often these valuable communicative tools get lost when translated into typed words.
Correct use of the English language will only reflect positively on your business. Think about how you feel when you read something well written that obeys the rules of grammar and punctuation. Compare that to what you think when reading something that appears to have been thrown together in a matter of seconds and was clearly never proofread. Of course you lose a little respect for the creator.
Which experience do you want your client to have when reading something that came from you?
Another valuable way of using language to improve client communication is to manipulate all content into a form of continued conversation. Practice the art of making statements that automatically follow with a question. For example:
“I hear the brief was rejected by your firm. Is there some way we can revisit this further?”
Notice how this example ensures communication must keep flowing in the direction you want it to, instead of fizzling out into awkward silence.
Serfy is a field management software system that is taking the business world by storm.
From your cellphone or computer you can access the app and register your business & all its services.
One of the goals of Serfy was to minimize the amount of time businesses with many employees spend micromanaging. In addition it directly links all parties involved (both employee and client) for optimized levels of communication.
The app is designed to house all angles of your business an manage everything from assignment of tasks to feedback and data collection.
Once a job is assigned and completed by one of your employees the relevant client is invited to leave feedback or report any issues in real time. These can be viewed and addressed within minutes from your side and all communication can occur via the Serfy platform.
Serfy’s most notable features include:
- Deadline management
- Real time reports as field agents are at work
- Digital filing of all data and paperwork, saving time and money
- Direct communication with clients and employees
- Schedule management
Essentially this platform is a one stop shop for everything needed to ensure a successful roll out of service in the day to day.
The app is shared with all employees eliminating the time and money spent on using various outlets to stay in contact with them. They’re all on the app, receiving the information they need. This leaves more time to focus on clients.
One thing that all businesses need to do with clients from day one is emphasize the fact that they can be 100% honest with you at all times.
Brutal honesty. Let them know you value it, you encourage it and you expect it. You enjoy hearing from them. Before, during and even after a job.
Not only does this form a solid foundation for a relationship with them early on but it reflects a strong character of who you are as a person and as a business.
Let your clients know that you’re always available to them and will take their calls (or text, or Email) anytime. Make sure they know that the tunnels of communication are open—always.
There are mixed feelings within the business world about where the line is when it comes to being too familiar with clients.
The truth is, it never hurts to go the extra mile.
If a client requests a report, have it sent over to them with a handwritten note that you took the time to scribe. Let them know you appreciate their business and that you took time & care in compiling the requested documents.
On the receiving end is a client who feels valued and respected solely thanks to such a small, seemingly insignificant gesture.
Remember, at the end of the day we’re all just humans connecting with other humans.
We joke, we laugh, we sometimes make mistakes.
It is 100% possible to be both informal and professional at the same time.
Break down the unrealistic communication barriers that usually enter an employee-client relationship. See them as you wish they would see you.
You’re only human after all.