You want a successful business, and you need customers. But how do you manage your customer relationships so that they keep coming back? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Here are 5 fundamentals to become better at client management:
What is Client Management?
It’s important to understand the basics first in order to become better at client management. Client management is the process of understanding and monitoring the needs, wants, and expectations of your clients in order to provide them with a product or service that meets their requirements. Managing your client’s expectations also involves being able to address their concerns in an effective manner. If you are unable to meet or exceed your client’s expectations, you may expect a loss of business or word-of-mouth advertising that impacts your bottom line.
Why do you need to learn how to manage clients?
It’s imperative that you become better at client management, but the reality is that it’s important for you and your business on many levels:
• You may lose customers if you aren’t able to meet their expectations and continue to provide them with new, innovative products.
• If you are not able to manage clients’ needs, you may need to hire an outside person or company – which can be costly.
• If your client is experiencing problems or is dissatisfied with the product or service they receive from you (or your company), they may take to the Internet or social media to voice their complaints.
The skills of a great client manager – ability to empathize with the customer, communicate effectively, and provide strategic recommendations
The best client managers that become better at client management are empathetic individuals who can think long-term rather than short-term when making decisions for their clients. In addition, they are great communicators who can listen as well as speak to their clients. They also have the ability to make strategic recommendations that allow the client to solve a specific problem.
What does this look like in action?
To give you an example of what this looks like in action, let’s say that a client has a problem with their website. They are having issues with search engine optimization (SEO) and organic rankings, so they want to hire someone who can correct the problem.
An effective client manager might tell them about SEO basics – how it is important for both short-term results as well as long-term gains in traffic and customer acquisition. This manager might also explain how small changes to the client’s website content can impact SEO rankings immediately, while larger changes will take more time but ultimately produce better results over the course of several months or even years. Finally, the client manager may make some recommendations for immediate changes that can be made that will produce positive results.
How can you improve your client management skills?
The first step here to become better at client management is to start keeping detailed records of all communication and interactions with your clients:
• When was the last time you spoke with your client?
• What did they ask of you?
• What did you give them in response to their request?
It’s a good idea to make a master list of all clients, regardless of whether or not they are current customers. This will allow you to keep track of their history with your business as well as make it easier when planning new strategies and tactics for speaking with them.
While there are many ways to become better at client management, here are some tips for implementing new ideas and honing existing skills:
1) Make sure you understand the importance of your role as a client manager
You are responsible for understanding your clients’ requirements so that they continue to use your business or company. While this is almost common sense, some people have trouble accepting this role because they are thinking more about their own needs than those of the customer.
2) Ask yourself what’s important to your current customers
Think long-term rather than just focusing on short-term gains. Do they want convenient hours, lower prices, or additional features? To become better at client management, you need to understand exactly what’s important to your current customers.
3) Speak with your customers
Ask them what they want, what they expect, and how you can improve the product or service that you are providing. You can also ask them to give specific examples of how it’s made a difference in their life. The more in-tune you are with your customers, the more you’ll become better at client management
4) Make sure that you are willing to do whatever is necessary for your clients’ success
Even if it means sacrificing some of your time or money. While not every decision will be popular with everyone, remember that most people appreciate knowing where they stand and having straightforward conversations. As long as they understand why something has to happen, they will usually be more than happy to follow through on your recommendations.
5) Have empathy when speaking with your customers
Imagine yourself in their shoes. What do they want and why? Are you able to relate to their situation?
6) Prioritize your clients’ needs
By giving them what they need, they will continue to use the product or service that you offer. If it isn’t right, ask yourself how you can improve it so that your customers are satisfied with their investment in your business or company.
Frequently asked questions about client management
Here are three frequently asked questions that I receive on managing clients:
I’m afraid that my relationship with my client may change if I manage his/her expectations. How do I manage this problem?
The best method for managing your client’s expectations is to always be transparent and truthful. The more you can help them understand what your limitations are, the better they will be able to adapt their requests in order to get the most out of your services.
I have several clients who are all asking for different things. How do I manage these competing interests?
Communicate with each of them on a regular basis in order to ask questions about their specific needs and how you can best serve their interests. It’s also important not to make promises that you can’t keep – this will only lead to disappointment in the long run.
My company recently changed ownership, which means my management style has evolved since I had my last client meeting with my old clients. How do I approach this situation?
Take the time to meet and speak with each of your old clients in order to discuss what you like about working with them and what changes you plan on implementing in the future. They may also have some valuable feedback for how they would like things to be handled in the future.
5 Fundamentals to Become Better at Client Management Conclusion
In conclusion, it is important for business owners and managers to learn how to effectively manage their clients in order to keep track of all communication and interactions throughout the course of a professional relationship with clients. This includes both current customers as well as previous ones – regardless of whether or not they are currently using your services.
Also, it is important to learn how to empathize with clients, communicate effectively, and provide strategic recommendations that will help them solve specific problems. This article offers five ways for business owners and managers to become better at client management in order to improve their skills and manage client relationships.
If you have questions or are looking for some direct one-on-one assistance, reach out to me so that we can work together on your website!