It’s no big secret that building and maintaining good client relationships is essential for any business. Although the nature of this relationship may naturally differ between industries and disciplines, there is always common ground that you can create to ensure your client feels involved and supported throughout their journey with you.
Build a solid foundation of trust
From the beginning of your client relationship, you must establish a foundation of trust to carry your on-going collaboration. To achieve this, your organisation must always be transparent and honest with the client. In my experience, one of the simplest ways of establishing this approach internally and externally is by creating a service culture manifesto. The manifesto will instil your organisation’s core values in your employees and will give your current and new clients clarity on how you approach your professional relationships. Outlining this position to your clients and sticking to these principles throughout the relationship will aid clear communication.
Recognise your clients’ needs
It goes without saying that the more you know about your client, the more you can do to ensure you’re delivering the service they need. Commitment to changing and building your service to meet your clients demands will ultimately be a large factor in whether they decide to use your service on an on-going basis. The easiest way to ensure you’re effectively identifying the weaknesses and strengths in your service is to review them on a regular client-by-client basis. Poor communication spells trouble for any business partnership, so you should make regular communication a priority. Putting the time and processes in place to support this will result in strong relationships with happy clients.
Be ready to effectively manage a crisis
Things go wrong in business; it’s an unfortunate reality of any evolving industry. While you can’t always predict when something is going to go wrong, you can make a proactive effort to ensure your organisation handles these difficulties in the best possible way. Businesses are often judged, not on how they excel when everything is going well, but by how they manage a crisis. By ensuring that any problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently, you will further instil your organisation’s reliability. A client who knows they can trust you in a crisis is one that will likely stick with you.
Be a partner
Instilling confidence in your clients gives you room to work with them to develop a great partnership that will benefit both parties. The best client relationships exist between organisations that value and recognise the mutual benefits of working together. Ultimately, as long as both parties are committed to a partnership approach to working together they can expect a long and beneficial professional relationship.
By John McCallion, CEO, GroundScope