Client Relationships Guide: 13 Ways to Build Strong Relationships with Clients

When you run a small business, taking care of your customers is very important. If you get along well with your customers, they will probably come back to work with you again and suggest your business to other people.

After you start working with a client, it’s easier and cheaper to work with them again. If your customers trust you because you’ve done a good job before, they will want to work with you more in the future.

13 Tips for Building Relationships with Clients

Here are 13 tested methods to make good and long-lasting connections with your clients. These can help your business grow.

1. Communicate Effectively and Consistently

Talking to your clients clearly and on time is important. When everyone is busy working, it’s easy to forget to talk to each other. But it’s key to keep chatting regularly during a project. Tell your client from the start that you’ll help create plans that fit their business goals and you’ll check how the work is going based on these plans.

Talking to your clients a lot shouldn’t take over your time or make you less productive. But being there for them shows you care about their project and happiness.

Besides talking well and often, you can also make a strong bond with your clients by making them feel safe to share their thoughts and worries with you. They should believe you’ll listen and take their ideas seriously.

2. Be Positive

As someone who works for yourself, you have a lot of things to take care of. Even if you feel stressed or overwhelmed, it’s important to be positive around your clients. Show the kind of energy and confidence you want them to see in your work. Being enthusiastic and passionate are qualities people like to see and make clients happy to work with you.

3. Treat Your Client as an Individual

Even though your relationship with your client is professional, it’s nice to show you see them as more than just a source of income. How much you can get personally depends on your work area, the kind of client, and their personality. If you know your client has kids, you could ask how they’re doing. If you’re closer to your client, sending them a news article about their favorite musician could be a nice touch and something they’d like.

4. Share Your Knowledge

If your clients don’t know much about what you do, they might feel left out because they don’t understand the details. This is your chance to teach them about your work, which will help them trust and feel confident in what’s happening. Telling your client what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you decided to do it will make them feel included and informed.

5. Be Open-Minded

To create good and lasting relationships with clients, they need to trust you and see you as an expert. It’s very important to always be open and honest about your professional opinions and what you think is best for the project. Sometimes, you might feel like you should just agree with the client or not say what you think to avoid any arguments. But it’s better to be open about your thoughts.
But doing things like not sharing your true thoughts can backfire and harm your reputation, making it harder to keep a good relationship with your clients. If you share your honest opinions confidently, clients will respect you more because they see you care about doing a great job.

6. Exceed Expectations

To build good relationships with clients, it helps to be known as someone who does great work on their own. Be careful not to promise more than you can deliver. If you keep your promises realistic, you can end up really impressing your client with what you finish. This makes them more likely to want to work with you again.

7. Understand Your Client’s Goals

To do well, you need to know your client well, both in small and big ways. On a small scale, you should know what they want to achieve with the current project. On a big scale, you should see how this project fits into their whole company and understand anything special about their company culture that could help you work well with them. Understanding your client’s goals helps create a trusting and respectful relationship.

8. Speak Your Client’s Language

Successful advisors learn to match their client’s way of talking, how formal they are, and how they like to communicate, even if it’s different from what they’re used to. For instance, your client might like video calls more or prefer texting over email.

Matthew Small, a Customer Experience Specialist, said that you should adjust how you talk for each person because everyone has their own style. Some people like just the facts and others enjoy chatting more. The important thing is to be flexible: don’t start a conversation with a fixed script, but have a plan for what you want to find out.

Use your ability to understand others’ feelings to get why a client feels a certain way or acts a certain way, and change how you talk and work with them based on that.

9. Stay Humble

You were chosen for your skills, but remember, the client knows their business best. They might have the right strategy for dealing with an important person or know something special about their place in the market that could help your project succeed.

Listen to your client as the expert on their own business, and be open in asking them the best way to handle the issue and find a solution that fits their company.

10. Use Project Delivery Tools

Being organized in how you deliver your work is really important to make clients happy. Use tools that help you look professional from start to finish, like project plans, contracts, reports, and professional-looking invoices. These tools make you look more professional, clear about what you’re doing, and help keep track of your project.

Think about what your client would like. It might be making the project look nice, personally delivering it with a detailed explanation, or adding a little extra something that makes the project better. For clients you’ve worked with a lot, a small thank-you gift after big milestones or during the holidays can make them really happy and strengthen your work relationship. The main thing is to do a little extra in a way that your clients will value.

11. Develop Appreciation

It’s important to set boundaries with clients, but sometimes doing more than expected can help your business. Keep your rules, but look for chances to do a bit extra.

If you’ve been doing this work for a while, it’s easy to keep doing things the same way. But try to look at each client’s needs on their own and be willing to change how you work for them. Some clients might want to be very involved and know every detail as it happens, while others might just want a weekly update in writing.

Talking with your clients is important to build trust; find out what they really like and then make that part of how you work. Listening carefully and being thoughtful can help you earn their respect and gratitude.

12. Ask for Feedback

Asking for feedback gives your client a chance to tell you what they think about your work and suggest how you can do better. This is good for you because it helps you improve your relationships with other clients, and it also shows the client you’re asking that you care about their thoughts and your work quality. You can survey a website like Qualtrics or send them a questionnaire in a PDF or Word document where they can answer specific questions and give general comments. After you get their feedback, say thank you and let them know you’re grateful they took the time to help you out.

13. Follow Up after Your Project Ends

Keeping in touch with clients after your project is done is a good way to keep your relationship going. You can share new ideas you have, tell them about a new skill you’ve learned, or mention a big achievement you had with another client (you don’t have to say who). This is a great way to show them you’re still valuable and to open the door for more work in the future.

For more insights and tools to help build and maintain strong client relationships, visit Optamark