Converting leads into customers is a primary goal every company shares. But once you have lift off with a new client, it’s important to know how to cultivate a healthy and prosperous relationship from the ground up. What’s the key? Stellar communication! No matter how great your proven reputation or results are, nothing can take its place.
Consider your client communication strategy to be a constellation of sorts – a set of universal best practices that give it shape and structure! This strategy, as a whole, is much greater than the sum of its parts. Sure, you get a gold star for each communication rule you integrate by itself, but isn’t a shining constellation much more impressive? Your customers will certainly think so.
All galactic references aside, follow these 5 client communication best practices and you’ll start your new business relationships off with a Big Bang! *Couldn’t help it.*
1. Build a Solid Foundation
Take the time to get to know each other. Although a rapport is typically established before your client finalizes the decision to invest in you, once you’re working together, it’s critical to stay on the same page. Start with a kick-off call to create a short-term plan, delegate homework assignments to both parties, and follow up within 48 hours to deliver an early progress update.
2. Establish a System
How and when will you communicate? Determine the frequency and methods that work for both parties. Weekly email updates? Bi-weekly phone conferences? Monthly in-person meetings? Hash this out before diving into projects so your new clients know what they can expect from you (and vice versa). As a general rule of thumb, always respond to your client’s questions or feedback within 24 hours. And of course, stay on top of your deadlines – though it never hurts to be early with deliverables!
3. Shh… Listen!
Though your client is paying you for your expertise, always remember you are a partner, not a dictator. Listen to your client’s ideas. It’s your job to make your new client understand that you are invested in their success. Some like to be involved in the marketing process more than others. So adjust your communication strategy after getting in tune with the client’s specific wants and needs.
4. Avoid Assumptions
More often than not, marketing is a big black hole to a client. Don’t assume they know the process – or any industry jargon you might nonchalantly toss around. Throughout a new project, communicate with your client every step of the way. Provide context for each task, explaining your approach, thought process and reasoning for “why you did this” and “why you didn’t do that.”
5. Write It Down
Particularly when starting off with new clients, it’s important to keep records, share meeting minutes, and recap significant conversations. During phone conferences, it’s good practice to take notes and send the client a summary via email afterwards. Include the date and names of people involved. A written reference to work being completed makes new clients feel at ease and demonstrates your reliability.
Earth to marketers... Effective client communication makes all the difference, especially when you're doing business with a new company. So make sure you're dazzling your new customers with the communication constellation!
Looking for other marketing resources? We're always happy to share our insights. Feel free to check out The Ultimate Guide to Harnessing the Power of Customer Success to discover new ways to delight clients and prospects alike.