When you take on a client, you are responsible for ensuring they are successful in their business endeavor. Whether they’re looking to expand their online presence or do some periodic maintenance, it’s your job to ensure that the client gets what they’re paying for and ultimately saves them time in their daily lives and workloads so that they can focus on what matters in their business growth.
Even the most carefully crafted business processes can go awry if there’s no framework to support them and guide the people working within them through their daily tasks. When it comes to client success, that’s where collaboration comes in. By fostering communication between everyone involved with your clients, you can ensure that everyone stays on the same page, adheres to company guidelines, and meets your customers’ needs.
Why is client collaboration essential?
Collaboration among clients beyond the typical games of team building and chats with friends is vital for various reasons. The most significant (and most quantifiable) is that it cuts down on how much time and funds are used on corporate tasks. Productive teams are more efficient and get more outcomes when they work together rather than in a non-congruous manner.
A few of the many benefits of increasing collaboration among teams.
Benefits of Client Collaboration
- A shorter time commitment to group projects and tasks
- Less amount of money is spent on staff and resources needed to complete an assignment
- More effective use of video chat, email, project management tools, and many more.
- There are more chances for team members to help with creative ideas
- Increased information sharing within the organization
- The increase in team-focused decision-making over individual-focused decision-making
- Control of quality across projects as well as projects that involve clients
- A more welcoming, open, and respectful workplace for everyone
Tips For Ensuring Client Success
Here are eight tips to start you with collaborative client success management strategies.
Deliverables should be outlined before the project begins.
You can’t hit a target you can’t see. A good project manager will outline what is expected from each party in a contract. Whether for exterior or internal projects, it’s essential to agree on specific deliverables and deadlines before you start planning and executing.
Deliverables should be evaluated at every stage of development, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on how fast your team works. The goal is to make sure you’re making progress on your goals while achieving your client’s objectives.
Communication is the key
Ensure your clients know how to get in touch with you and your team. If a client has a question or wants to make an update, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can contact you.
Provide them with multiple ways to reach out—not just email addresses but also phone numbers, Be sure that people are familiar with any username changes.
You might even consider putting clients on an auto-reply when they’re away so that they at least know someone is getting back to them quickly, even if it’s not necessarily you personally.
Give regular updates
When working with clients, it’s important to give regular updates. That demonstrates your professionalism, but you have initiative and respect for their time.
If you have no news to share on a given day, send an email thanking them for allowing you to work with them and let them know they’ll be getting another update soon. If things get hectic on your end, you don’t need to worry about keeping clients in the dark about their projects.
Learn about each other’s processes
When working with a client, part of your job is to educate them on your process. Ensure they understand how you work and what milestones will lead to their deadline. If there are any delays or hiccups in your process, they can be proactive instead of reactive.
Meet up at least once to get a feel for each other’s style and find out if you can trust each other’s judgment; make sure that you have an open line of communication throughout your relationship (text messages, Skype chats, phone calls); continually review project goals together; ask for feedback at checkpoints when necessary, and listen more than you talk—this should be self-explanatory, but it isn’t so obvious!
Hold meetings as often as possible.
When you’re a freelancer or running your agency, it can feel like you are working in a vacuum. That is why it is important to hold meetings with clients as often as possible. Even if you can’t meet every week, try to keep meeting in person every month.
When you physically meet up with your client, it allows you to discuss precisely what they want and then share progress updates each month. Clients are more interested in your success and will trust that they aren’t losing out on anything by not being involved with your business daily.
Keep track of every update from both parties.
It’s effortless to get buried in your projects. That’s why it’s essential to keep track of everything you need from your clients and vice versa. You should set up a shared folder on Google Drive and ensure every document is stored there.
Never assume things will get done without following up with your client; when things aren’t happening, it’s best to be proactive about prodding people along rather than letting them fall through the cracks.
Make sure your client understands what your company can do for them. It’s also important to let them know if your solution has any potential risks or adverse side effects. Give your client a complete picture so they can clearly understand what they’re working with and decide whether you should proceed with their project.
If there’s something you don’t understand about their project, don’t be afraid to ask questions; that way, you’ll both end up on the same page.
Make sure you have all information needed to continue.
Clients are busy people, so they will rarely take on a project or even try to understand something if they have any doubt it can be completed. Your job is to ensure they feel confident that your team will get results. You may have to reach out to them and explain where you are in research and planning and what you need from them. But make sure your initial presentation covers all the details that come next – otherwise, your clients won’t want anything more to do with you. Remember: People generally don’t buy; problems do.
Just because clients should be able to take care of some issues themselves doesn’t mean they’ll figure out how quickly—or at all. Clients have lots on their plates and may not have time or energy to tackle problems they don’t fully understand.
At a minimum, collaborating with your client means coming to a complete understanding of precisely what they’re looking for. At best, it’s an opportunity to create something new and exciting that both parties are proud of. A solid knowledge base and an open mind are your keys to success; you can be confident that one or both will come in handy if you prioritize collaboration.
And if you can back up your efforts with impressive results, even better! It may take some time before clients learn that requesting collaboration is worthwhile, but a whole new world of possibilities opens up once they get on board.
These are some things we, at CitrusLeaf, do to ensure our clients and their projects are successful. We believe in collaboration and teamwork as much as possible. One thing that we’ve learned over the years is that software can’t be made in a vacuum. It has to be made through constant communication only.
Looking for an excellent team that can build your MVP or builds a mobile app for your business? Look no further than CitrusLeaf.