Ten Ways to Improve Communications with your Clients
Developing good relationships with clients improves and grows your business. However, effective communication can be one of the most challenging aspects of operating a business. Clients can be demanding and may have unrealistic expectations. Learning to manage a client’s expectations while controlling the flow of information can be difficult. Developing strong communication channels is the key to the success of your business. Below are 10 ways you can improve communication with your clients.
- Schedule Periodic Telephone Calls
An easy way to improve communication with your clients is to schedule periodic telephone calls. While emails are a great way to communicate, talking to your clients on the telephone allows you to hear the person’s tone and follow up immediately on issues or questions raised during the conversation.
- Listen to Clients
Your clients expect you to answer questions, but you also need to listen to clients. You can learn a great deal of information by simply allowing your client to talk freely without interruptions.
- Ensure Client Communication is a Standard Operating Procedure
When you devise operating procedures for staff to follow, make sure that you add client communication as a required step. Staff members should be required to email and call clients periodically, even if they do not have new information to communicate to the client. Clients expect regular updates, even if the update is to let them know that nothing new has occurred since the last update.
- Use a Variety of Communication Methods
Email and telephone calls are the most common methods of communication, but do not overlook other methods of communication with clients. Direct mail, text messages, videos, blogs, and client portals are great ways to stay in contact with clients and provide additional information they may use to help them with their business.
- Quality is As Important as Quantity
When meeting with clients or contacting a client, make sure that you ask questions to gain a clear understanding of the client’s issues, needs, and goals. Targeted communication is as important as the quantity of your communication efforts with your client.
- Follow Up Promptly
Whenever there is an issue or development, make sure that you follow up promptly with a client. Staff members should be instructed that they must follow up and return telephone calls within 24 hours to ensure timely communication with clients.
- Avoid Jargon
When you are speaking with peers, utilizing industry jargon is an effective form of communication. However, some clients may not be familiar with these terms. Avoid using jargon when communicating with clients. If you use technical terms, make sure that you explain the term in a way that the client understands without giving the impression that you are talking “down” to the client. This skill can take a great deal of practice to perfect.
- Try to Understand Your Client’s Position
It can be easy to become accustomed to asking questions and listening to answers without considering whythe client is in your office. Understanding your client’s day-to-day operations and business dealings can give you much-needed context to understand a client’s position. Context makes communication with clients easier and much more productive.
- Pay Attention to Tone of Voice
A person’s tone can provide a great deal of information. In some cases, it is not what a person says, but how the person says something that imparts the most relevant information during a conversation. In addition, pay close attention to your tone of voice as well. If you sound bored, frustrated, or hurried, your communication with your client will not be effective.
- Always Summarize
At the end of a conversation, email, letter, or other form of communication, you should always include a summary of the main points discussed with the client. A summary can avoid miscommunication that could result in a costly mistake. Summaries can also provide key action statements that help clients understand the next steps they need to take.
About Matthew Fornaro, P.A.
Matthew Fornaro provides comprehensive business law services to individuals, companies, and businesses in Coral Springs, Parkland, and throughout Broward County. To request a consultation, call 954-324-3651or contact us online.