When it comes to clients, it doesn't matter if you have the most agreeable or the most difficult person in the world, your team should make them happy. In order to do so, they'll want to have these client management skills, which can be applied to many customer interactions.
What is Client Management?
Client management is the process of managing, coordinating and overseeing a company's interactions between potential and existing clients. And what is the work of client management? Well, things like building relations between an organization and its clients for starters. A client manager's primary goal is to maintain and strengthen relationships throughout the client buying journey.
Why Are Client Management Skills Important?
Client management skills are important for all employees, leaders and client managers alike because:
- Strong client management skills set projects up for success by ensuring requirements are accurately met, communication is clear, and expectations are properly managed.
- It takes less time and money to retain an existing client than to find and onboard a new one, reducing your customer acquisition costs and boosting your bottom line.
- Happy repeat clients represent a higher lifetime value to your business than ‘one-and-gone’ customers who never work with you again, plus they’re more likely to recommend you.
Six Client Management Skills Worth Developing
1. Be Communicative.
Client management skills include making your customers feel good. One way you can offer your customers confidence is to communicate and keep them updated. Consider sending weekly briefs on their projects and what you've been working on. This can help your customers better understand how you're using your time and any challenges you might be facing.
By creating an atmosphere of transparency, you could eliminate any doubt they have in you and strengthen your relationship.
2. Share Your Wins.
Nothing is better than satisfied customers. With the right client management skills, you could help them feel victorious.
The key is to keep them in the loop on the small successes and wins. When something goes well in their project, offer specific details of the accomplishment. If the marketing campaign you're leading for them has made 10,000 impressions, give them this information to take home. It could really help boost their morale and satisfaction with you.
3. Patience, Patience, Patience.
It's likely that you will have at least one client who really pushes your buttons. They may ask you to explain and re-explain aspects of the project until you want to snap, or they may find other ways to make your work more difficult.
One of the most important client management skills you can leverage in these moments is patience. One way to do this is pretend that the customer is a new team member. You will have to teach them the ins and outs of the company and answer their questions. Once they have a more complete understanding of your company's operations, they may be more effective in collaborating with you.
4. Keep Your Enthusiasm.
The relationship you have with your clients can be very similar to a romantic relationship (hopefully not too similar). There is a honeymoon phase, filled with excitement as you think about how to go above and beyond in making them happy. But soon enough, you fall into routine and deadlines hit. The initial enthusiasm fades.
It is essential that you don't let this happen. When you become so comfortable that you stop trying to impress your clients, this can provide the perfect opportunity for competitors to steal them away.
This is when your client management skills kick in. A great skill to develop is treating every client like a new client. Regularly take a step back and reassess how you can best surpass their expectations and design an exceptional customer experience. This can help encourage customer loyalty and hopefully avoid any breakups.
5. Know Your Clients' Niches.
A great way to earn your clients' trust and respect is to know their niches. Learn about their respective industries and stay up to date on internal news. Keeping your finger on the pulse is one of the most valuable client management skills.
If you can do this, your clients can save themselves the effort of constantly having to catch you up. Even better, your customers may become comfortable seeking you out for advice or help.
6. Honesty is the Best Policy.
In business and in life, your word is your worth. A client management skill your entire team should have is honesty. If an unexpected setback arises that prevents you from reaching a deadline, it helps to be transparent with your clients. If you make a mistake, let them know and explain how you'll fix it.
By giving them reason to trust and respect you, your client relationship could becomes stronger. Keeping your customers happy is hardly easy. But with these client management skills, your team could increase your business' customer satisfaction. When your clients feel understood, in the loop and accomplished, they may be more likely to maintain loyalty to your company for a long time.
A version of this article was originally published on May 21, 2013.
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