The success of a company, especially for an SME, is down in part to strong client relationships.

So how do you keep your clients happy while running a business effectively?

Trevor McClintock, personal growth coach and change agent, talks you through the process.

Communicate well

Don’t forget to respond to clients straight away even when you are pressed for time.

This ensures a good flow of communication between both parties and makes sure that clients feel they are being listened to and feel valued.

Regularly checking in with your clients works wonders for improving the relationship, making sure everything is going smoothly and ironing out any problems.

Recap your previous conversation each time you chat to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Treat each client as your most important one

Treating everyone the same means everyone will feel as valued as one another.

Especially when you are juggling demands from many clients, it’s important to ensure you treat all clients with the same level of service, no matter how many hours of your time they are buying.

Make sure even your smallest accounts feel as appreciated and don’t forget to surprise your clients by going above and beyond expectations.

Ensure loyalty pays

Make sure that repeat customers or long-term clients feel rewarded for their loyalty.

Exceed their expectations and make sure you go above and beyond and they will pay you back with loyalty.

Why not offer some kind of long term discount for clients who have been with the company for many years?

This will ensure your reputation is built through word-of-mouth as well as through traditional marketing channels.

Your reputation is key to your success – do not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations.

Share knowledge and act as an advisor

Ensure you teach your client new things as often as possible.

This positions you as an expert and instills their confidence in you and your field of expertise.

Make sure you are constantly aware of changes in the industry and how they will impact your client and how you can exploit new opportunities.

Face to face situations are a chance to shine

Using body language well can convey confidence to your client.

Make sure in a face-to-face situation you are well presented and well prepared.

Ensure the client has a regular point of contact on the account and sees them as regularly as possible in face to face meetings.

Not preparing for a meeting is one of the worst mistakes you can make when dealing with a client.

Nothing can destroy confidence as much as failing to prepare or engage with what is going on.

Honesty

If something is not achievable within a specified time frame, be honest with your client.

It’s better to manage their expectations early on than get far into the job, then realise you can’t deliver on your promises.

Part of managing an account is to advise your client what you can and can’t do and how they should approach a problem.

There is nothing worse than a client exposing a lie or expecting more than you can deliver so you should be upfront early on to keep everyone happy.

Be patient, it takes time to build a strong relationship

It doesn’t happen overnight but you can make it happen through keeping your service levels consistent and always managing expectations well.

Building client relationships takes time and commitment from all parties.

Trevor McClintock is on hand to help professionals learn how to build working relationships with their clients.

Fire over a tweet, get in touch via Facebook or email, or just leave a comment below to learn more.