How to Make Your Clients Love You
As my business grows, I’m learning how to juggle different clients and make sure to provide each one with the best experience possible. It’s been challenging to stay attentive to each client and provide them with a truly customized experience. After a few months of experimentation, I’ve found a techniques that I’ll be keeping in my toolbox. These techniques are simple but effective; they’re guaranteed to make your clients LOVE you!
When you’re starting out with a new client, the #1 thing you want to do is build trust in the relationship. You want your client to see that they can count on you, no matter what.
Building trust leads to stronger relationships and increases your client retention. A client is more likely to choose a consultant they already trust rather than look for someone else they haven’t yet built trust with. Building trust is a surefire way to make sure your clients love you.
Trust takes time and effort. However, it can be cultivated in simple everyday interactions. With my clients, I’ve built trust by following through on tasks that I said I’d accomplish. I’ve also built trust by asking lots of questions to understand their problems thoroughly. Another easy way to build trust is transparency in time-tracking. I often send weekly email updates to let my retainer clients know where their money is going.
The bottom line in all this is that you want your client to know that you are on their team.
Visit Your Client IRL (in real life)
I highly recommend visiting your client for any project if the client is local. Seeing you face to face helps the client know what kind of person you are. If your client is long distance, use your discretion in deciding whether or not to visit your client. If the project is large, it might be worth booking a flight and working on-site for a few days. This type of gesture is a positive signal to your client and is definitely going to make sure your clients love you.
When your client puts a face to your business, a few things happen:
- Your client starts treating you with a bit more empathy because they realize you’re a real person too.
- Your client sees your passion show through. (CEOs love when the people they work with exude excitement for their project.)
- Your client is more likely to keep working with you! There is something about meeting face to face that brings out the human nature in all of us 😉
Have a Workflow Ready
Another great way to make sure your clients love you is to provide them with a seamless experience. This means each part of their interactions with you are thoughtfully planned out: from onboarding, project updates, and timelines to deliverables, revisions, and offboarding.
When a client has a delightful experience and isn’t left wondering “what’s next?”, they feel like they’ve gotten truly high quality service.
Workflows can take time to develop. My best advice is to start researching best practices and tools to test out. You can read about some of my favorite workflow tools from my previous post. It’s worth investing a little bit of money if it means your clients will be satisfied customers.
Provide a Regular Updates
Transparency is key if you want to make your clients love you. They are spending their hard earned money on your services, so it makes sense that they would want to know the progress you’ve made and how you’re spending your time.
One of my simple rules of thumb is that I want to have something new to talk about with my client each time with touch base via phone, video, or in-person. This way, the client feels like their project is moving along and that you’re always working on their project (during the time of the engagement).
Now, I’m not saying that you should be dishonest and make something up to ‘show progress.’ But have that as a goal / to-do before any touchbase that you have with a client. Do one extra item from your to-do list for them, be proactive or do some research, or take the time to think about new solutions for a problem they have. Doing so will ensure you’re providing them with value every time you connect.
Your client’s will love you for this; they’ll even look forward to chatting with you!
Get Feedback Early + Often
As I’m completing client work, I’m constantly checking in with my clients and sending them in-progress screenshots. This provides the client with several moments to provide feedback so that they aren’t surprised by the end result of the project.
I want my clients to feel like I’m collaborating with them and not working in a silo. This means that my clients will clearly be able to see that I’m taking time to understand their problems and factor their ideas into my work. The client will like the outcome a lot more and they will definitely love working with you as a consultant.
Getting feedback early and often is not just a method to make sure your clients love you. It’s a way of collaboration that is extremely effective. I often recommend this to non-consultants as well.
Try it out!
You’ll love the results.
Underpromise and Overdeliver, Aways
Delivering more than what is expected is an easy way to make sure your clients love you. There are several ways you can accomplish this as a consultant. You can increase the quantity that you deliver on, improve the quality of what you’re delivering, or you can increase the speed at which you deliver.
The last method is the one I like to use most often because it is implemented very simply. All you have to do is estimate how long a task will take for you to complete and then add 1-2 days to that estimate. You then share the padded estimate with your client as your delivery date. You know that your timeline is actually much quicker so you can complete the work and delivery a few hours or a day early. The client will be impressed at your speed and pleasantly surprised at your timeliness.
One thing to note with this way of “over delivering” is that you should use the method purposefully and maybe even sparingly. You don’t want to get your client thinking that you always work faster than you say you will because it changes their expectations and can then put you in a difficult position.
Giving the client more than they expect is powerful. It leaves an imprint in their minds and they will remember you next time they need consulting services.
Be the First to Apologize
It’s time for real talk now.
Consulting is not always a walk in the park.
There are moments when things go wrong.
Horribly and awfully wrong.
One thing I’ve learned from these experiences is that it’s probably more than one person’s fault that the mishap happened. If there was something you did that caused the mishap (even if in a minor way), I recommend being quick to apologize. Own up to your mistakes and do what you can to make the situation right. Your client may be upset in the moment, but they will remember how you handled the tough situation.
If you apologize in a way that shows authenticity and empathy. You want to make sure your client knows that you understand their predicament and that you’re available to help.
Just being open and willing to firefight will make your client do a double take.
Responding this way to a moment of crisis can make the difference between losing or keeping a client.
There you have it; the secret sauce to making your clients LOVE you.
Which ideas did you like the best? How do you make sure your clients love you? Do you have any techniques or ideas that you like to use?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
And if you’re someone who has been considering consulting but aren’t sure if you should make the leap, I’ve got a little gift for you: