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How to Build Solid, Successful Client Relationships

Creating strong client relationships begins before even landing the job. The resume, portfolio, 或介绍客户是我们作为公司或咨询公司建立信任的第一步, our skills, and our work ethic. However, once we do get hired for a project, 现在比以往任何时候都更重要的是继续建立这种信任,创造出能够让我们在未来再次被雇佣的“惊喜”因素.

Check out these 4 tips we follow to earn and keep our clients' trust.

1. Set Expectations

这个想法可能很宽泛,但是让我们把重点放在项目本身的期望上. First and foremost, this begins with scope. What exactly does the project include? What are the deliverables? At what point can we say that the project has been completed? 将一个特定的项目范围记录下来并达成一致是避免项目过程中的挫折和困惑的万无一失的方法. 如果(以及何时)我们的客户希望添加更多的任务,或者随着项目的进展要求多次迭代, the scope document is always there for reference. 这使得识别超出约定范围并影响项目时间和完成的请求变得容易. Is that to say we must stick to the original project scope? Absolutely not! 变更订单是项目生命周期中常见的一部分,确保每一个额外的请求都以对顾问和客户都有价值的条款整合到项目中.

The project timeline is another topic to discuss right from the get-go. While we always aim to provide the most accurate estimates for projects, it is preferable to err on the side of over estimation. If a project is finished ahead of schedule, it’s a win for everyone! If it is finished right on schedule, 整个团队都会感谢有额外的缓冲,以确保每个人都满意地完成工作.

我们的过程是一个协作的过程,这意味着每个项目都需要我们的顾问和我们的客户共同努力. Even if we are doing all the heavy lifting, 我们总是需要我们的客户为我们提供内容或信息来完成工作. 它可以像提供反馈或需要时间和精力的事情一样简单, such as creating new content for a webpage. Either way, 每个参与的人都应该确切地了解他们的角色和任务是什么,以及什么时候需要完成某些任务. 交付物或其他依赖于我们的客户批准的任务需要清楚地记录和沟通,以避免任何不必要的延迟.

2. Demonstrate Expertise

If we’ve been hired for a project, 我们已经赢得了客户的信任,相信我们有足够的知识和技能把工作做好. That may have been conveyed through a consultant’s resume, a project portfolio, or a formal project proposal. 有时可能是通过别人的推荐,我们的客户应该雇用我们! Even though we may have proven ourselves initially and landed the project, 这并不妨碍我们在项目的整个生命周期中继续提供见解和专家建议. We know that if we want to be hired again, 重要的是要始终如一地向我们的客户展示,为什么我们的工作质量和价值是适合这项工作的团队.

有时候,展示我们的专业知识只是简单地将一个已完成的项目交付出去. However, when engaging with clients during a project, there are many opportunities where we can go above and beyond. For example, if our client asks us to do something, 然而,我们知道,坚持这一要求不会有很好的效果,也不会带来最好的结果, 我们可以解释为什么我们不认为这是最佳路径,并提供更好地满足他们目标的替代选择. 虽然我们的客户可能并不总是选择采纳我们的建议,但他们会知道我们是在为他们的项目取得成功而投资.

重要的是要记住,我们的客户雇佣我们是为了我们的专业知识,当他们需要额外的团队协助时,他们可以填写. When it comes to building a solid relationship with our clients, 我们必须能够以他们能够理解的方式解释我们的建议和概念. 而不是使用可能不容易理解的行业术语和技术概念, 我们的目标是教育,同时我们共同努力,以顺利完成项目. 

3. Listen

The most important voice during any project we’re hired for is our client’s. We are bringing their vision to life, and they should have plenty to say about how they want that to happen! 虽然分享我们被雇佣的知识和专业知识对我们来说是必要的, 同样重要的是,我们要让客户知道他们的想法也很重要. If we disagree with what they’re saying or asking, a simple “I hear what you’re saying, but it might be a better option if…” could go a long way. If we don’t listen to our client’s opinions or concerns, they may never be satisfied with the end result of the project, and that means we may not earn their business for their next project.

我们过程中的协作性质意味着我们将自己视为客户团队的一部分. We bring our technological knowledge and they bring their industry knowledge. Together, through listening to each other and with open, honest communication, we can define the best path forward for a successful project.

4. Communicate

How many times have you heard the phrase “communication is key”? 这是事实,也是导致客户关系成功的最大因素之一! Of course, communication is a two-way street, but when we keep up consistent and detailed communication on our end, our clients are bound to be appreciative of our attentiveness during a project.

Communication has many different aspects; a main one revolves around answering emails or responding to phone calls. With this, timeliness is essential. A prompt email response can go a long way to establish trust and reliability. If an email seems urgent but we can’t respond at the moment, we can note that we received the email and will get them an answer shortly. This small action will confirm for our client that we are paying attention.

沟通还需要确保每一方都了解进展情况和之前做出的决定, during, and even after completion of the project. If progress is slower than anticipated, goals change, or one person is waiting on another to move forward, these things need to be shared as soon as possible to avoid project setbacks, disappointment, or frustration from our client. Also, 通知我们的客户任务已经完成表明我们正在取得进展, 哪些是他们需要知道的,自然会让我们的关系保持牢固.

All in all, communicating is a combination of all 3 ideas noted above. We communicate expectations before the project even begins, listen to everything our client tells us, 并以展现我们专业和专业知识的方式应对所有情况. 仅仅花10分钟时间解释我们做了什么,为什么或者如何做,就可以帮助我们与客户建立牢固的关系——这表明我们关注和关心项目的结果. 对每个客户遵循这些实践将导致成功的项目结果, and long-term partnerships.

Can We Help With Your Next IT Project?

我们致力于为我们的客户从开始到结束和超越-通过可靠性, setting expectations that we can deliver on, and following through to achieve world-class results on every project. How can we help your team?

Rachael Smith
Rachael SmithCore Contributor

蕾切尔于2019年加入数字营销团队,担任平面和网页设计师. Before coming to Marathon Consulting, she lived in France as an au pair, traveling, drinking wine, and eating too much bread and cheese. Before her year of travels, she studied graphic design, web design, and web development at Ithaca College. Nowadays, 当她不忙着创造卓越的用户体验或在文案编辑上偷懒的时候, you can find her making fun vegetarian recipes, reading, biking, or outside in the hot summer sun.

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