When you meet the love of your life, you don’t usually dive in head-first and get engaged after the first date. There are usually many moments of getting to know each other; from your favorite movie to your biggest pet peeve, the way you like your coffee and how you show affection toward one another. I would argue that getting to know a client and solidifying your client relationships is a very similar experience.
While I may not know each Lemonly client’s favorite movie, I would suggest a few standard practices to forming healthy, long-lasting relationships with your clients. These tips and questions are part of the ever-evolving client experience process here at Lemonly:
Be the Expert
a. They hired YOU and YOUR TEAM to help with their problem.
b. Be a problem-solver; ask your client things like:
- “What keeps you up at night?”
- “What project(s) haven’t you tackled yet because you’re not sure where to start?”
- “What’s one thing I could take off your plate?”
But Don’t Be A Know-It-All
a. You may be the expert, but you definitely need their input.
b. Don’t be afraid to set up check-ins with your client along the way.
c. Make sure to ask if you’re on the right track or if the strategy your team has come up with is what they were searching/hoping for. It’s good to get client feedback along the way to make sure you’re on the same page when the final deliverable hits their inbox.
a. You’ve asked for their final deadline, but what if you were able to finish up the project a few days early?
b. Surprise your clients by reading their minds, I mean, being anticipatory. If you know that their team is reviewing a new draft of the project on Tuesday at 10:00am, make sure to send the draft with plenty of time for questions–preferably the day before; not on Tuesday at 9:59am, a minute before they jump into the meeting. It’s nice to have time to react, and it shows that your team is working on all cylinders for the client.
c. This is an easy one – send a detailed timeline and update it often, so that the client knows you are always thinking about their project.
They’re Human, Too
a. Clients are just like you and me… they’re human too!
b. They have multiple projects on their plates, tight deadlines, budgets to monitor and teams to manage, but they might also have to take the dog out on their lunch (meaning no 12:30pm conference calls), or have to work from home with a sick baby (can we reschedule that kick-off meeting?).
c. Cut them some slack and they’ll do the same for you.
d. Connect on what you have in common and make sure you keep that in mind next time you hit “reply” to that email at 2:00 AM.
If you follow these tips you are most likely going to delight your clients and form a long-term relationship with them, too. Have any thoughts to add on how to make client relationships even sweeter? Tweet us @lemonly.