It is important to build a rapport with your clients. It is actually one of the most important skills that you need to possess. No one likes to work at an office with a poor culture. There is a reason why there is such a thing as workplace bullying lawyers – people aren’t always nice. But it’s your job as the manager to build good relationships with employees and clients alike. Around 40% of clients change their business because of the quality or value of the relationship. Clients need to be able to trust you and feel like they can relax in your office.
Need a few tips on building a rapport?
- Use your listening skills so you can easily understand what the client is telling you. While it is important to respond, it is best to show the client you understand where they are coming from first. Try and enter their world – understand their perspective.
- Don’t rush the relationship. How fast the bond develops will depend on their culture, personality, background and so on.
- Exceed the clients’ expectations. Your customers expect a great service from you. Try and raise the bar as much as you can. Impress the customers and over-deliver rather than over-promise. Try and deliver services faster and give this to them as a surprise if you know it will only take 4 weeks to complete give them a timeframe of 5 weeks, so they are surprised and impressed you got it done earlier than expected.
- Ask for feedback. Whether it is good or bad, ask the customers for feedback. This lets them know you find their opinions important and are always looking for ways to improve your services.
- Start connecting. Use online technology and tools to reach customers, be active online often and always reply to feedback (even negative, questions etc). Ensure your website is easy to navigate and everything is clear to read.
- Show your appreciation. Start a loyalty program to reward long-time customers. Create an app for mobile devices where people can see the progress of their rewards. Just make sure you consult an intellectual property lawyer for safety reasons. You want to make sure you own all the content and have a right to publish it. You can offer a certain per cent off their next purchase once they hit a certain amount of points or offer a free item.
- Treat customers with respect. This is a no brainer. Even from the first communication, you have with your customer you need to dress nicely and professional, return calls promptly, have all paperwork ready etc. You need to respect their time as you would your own.
- Be competent. If you seem like you don’t know what you are doing, you are simply going to lose respect and customers from day dot. Get your customer service skills in order so your body language and personality show the customer that you know exactly what you are doing.
- Don’t sell yourself too hard. It’s never a good idea to push yourself on people in an aggressive way – this will steer them away. Instead, find something that sets you apart from your competitors and imprint that in their mind then let them come and find you.
Building a good relationship with clients is one of the most important things business owners need to be able to do. You need to have the ability to go above and beyond for your clients.
It is important to not rush the relationship, but let it grow on trust and honesty. Once the relationship grows you will see those customers referring more and from there the business grows.