4 Top Client Relationship Management Tips
Every relationship needs to be nurtured – whether it’s personal or professional; in order to reap the benefits of those around you; you need to put in some work. Having a good relationship with your colleagues or even the team that you manage will greatly benefit your work life.
Managers come in a number of forms;
- The best friend: who promises the world and wants you to be taken care of but can sometimes be taken advantage of and then fail to deliver.
- The undefinable leader: who orders more than delegates but nonetheless runs a tight and efficient team; sometimes to the team’s and client’s disadvantage.
- The non-productive player: who never seems to do much and frustrates the team with their constant delegation and lack of action; losing a client’s time and money.
- The all-rounder: who is part of the team when needed, gets their hands dirty and knows how to keep the laws of the land in place while meeting their client’s brief.
Workplaces with all-rounders as their managers are happy to get the job done because they know they are working in a fair environment. Clients are often rather astute to the fair-play that goes on in the office; a team’s resentment to a client usually starts from within.
The primary thing that fair managers have over their not-so-professional manager friends is client relationship management skills.
Whether you’re managing a team to work for your clients or the number one point of reference to your company’s client base; client relationship management skills are essential to being a good client relationship manager.
What makes a good client relationship manager?
A good client relationship manager is someone you trust, someone whose opinions help you decide on your next step. They have a good combination of product or service knowledge that can be used to give their team and clients the full picture. A key tool for the fast paced work life we lead.
Their knowledge in sales skills helps boost their reputation as well as their clients’ while their interpersonal skills allow both potential and existing clients to feel comfortable with their advisors.
What are client management skills?
Client management skills are tools and techniques hidden deep within every leader – they just need to be released and put to good use.
Such skills will grant a productive, proactive and positive working environment; their duties include:
- Building and maintaining relationships with the company’s clients and associates.
- Organising business reviews to ensure that all clients are satisfied with the service or products they’re being given.
- Keeping their noses out for any other business opportunities with key clients and alerting sales departments.
- Informing clients of complimentary services their company may offer within a package.
- Holding periodic meetings to ensure that all client relationships are maintained and nourished.
- Hammering down on all the KPIs set for every existing client in their portfolio.
- Managing all complaints or points of concern that are highlighted by their clients.
How can I improve my relationship management skills?
Improving your client relationship management skills requires time and dedication, but the overall results will stimulate growth and maturity in your team and client base. Here are 4 tips to help build your business relationship management skills with your clients:
1. Remember to listen
Turn up the volume and dial in well, every conversation you have with your clients is vital. It could be a make or break moment that you need to react to in the best way, and the only way you’ll be able to handle it is if you listen.
Clients often speak between the lines and require some decoding to fully understand but if you stay alert; you’ll find their pattern and break the code in no time.
2. Hone in on the emotions
Understand what your clients are going through; their frustrations are sometimes not directed at you per say, but are underlying worries of how their brand may look or sound to the public.
Learn how to read your clients and understand their needs without too much instruction. This will show them you’re listening and that you care about their company’s success.
3. Communicate clearly
If there’s something on your chest, possibly the constant urgency or severe delays in your client’s participation; find a professional way to discuss the problems and always direct them to the well-being of their brand.
Eventually, they’ll understand your concerns and appreciate your honesty.
4. Ask the difficult questions
Let’s face it, sometimes clients have wild aspirations; sometimes too wild for their image, too tedious to achieve within tight timeframes and worst of all, too much to work on with such a limited budget. Ask your clients to be more realistic.
Ask them what their vision is. Ask them what they really want to achieve and ask them how your team can make their goals a reality. It’s a two-way street and your clients should feel comfortable with you bringing up such topics.
When teams work in symphony with each other, clients understand their service providers and the clients needs; especially when they are guided, exceed expectations and deliver on time: the recipe for success is such a simple one to master.
Give your clients the time of day you deserve, they’ll reward you with so much more than a few extra hours in the office. Use Timestead to help keep your team on top of all the little details.