Clients bring business to designers and developers; therefore they are crucial to the business. So the smooth working of the business is made sure if you are on good terms with your client. The search of good business implies maintaining a healthy relationship with the client. What we usually see is that we keep getting projects but we sometimes forget that the best way to get regular business is by keeping the existing clientele. If they have liked our dealing and work, high chances are, they will consider us for any of their next project as well. So, client is to be considered an asset and to managed in a way that will make them your permanent clients. And this is what I plan to do in this article, telling you ways to maintain a good relationship with the client and to manage it effectively.
Benefits of Maintaining Your Clients :
Before knowing what are the ways that will keep your existing clientele intact, you should know what its importance is and what are the reasons of keeping the client. First off, the purpose of this whole rant is that keeping an existing client is way easier than to look for newer ones. It also implies that it will be more beneficial if you keep the current clientele and also look for new. This will be beneficial on many levels including planning ahead for the budget etc. And here are some more reasons.
a. An Established Reputation :
You have been through the process of getting to know the client. You know what kind of talk they like and what are the ways they want their work to be done. Also, the client has also developed a confidence that their project is being led well and he doesn’t have to go through the process from starting a relationship all over again. So the business can be started without the initial formalities with the existing client.
b. Less Efforts Required for Marketing:
As a good business strategy, the costs of keeping an existing client is much less than looking for new as it saves the marketing costs of bringing in the new client. This is more useful in the freelancing business where the designer or the developer has to build the confidence and the repute every time.
c. Your Advertisement :
If you are still in contact with your client, it will make them remember you which will work as your testimonial and will more likely find you more clients through the good word. Like if you have impressed the client somehow, he will refer to you to some other and so it will save you the cost of marketing.
Keep Up with the Existing Clients, the Tips
Ease of Access :
Keeping the communication process easy is important if you want your client to stay in touch with you. Communicating with client should never be thought as a burden or a task you can delay. From newsletters to a Twitter update, there are a number of means of communication you can use to reach the client.
Circulating the Newsletters :
The advent of using the quick ways of communication has brought newsletters to a good position to be used as keeping in touch with the client. In addition to a newsletter, Postcard Printing, holiday card or season’s greetings can also be sent with s new business tagline and it will be good enough.
Email Rather than Post :
The fast paced 21st century has seen a decline in the post mail. Instead, email is used for communication purposes everywhere. An effective technique for keeping in touch with the existing clientele is to send reminder emails or newer services. Spending a few bucks on a software can give you an opportunity to send mass emails.
Keeping in Touch through Phone Calls :
Now this may sound a bit like telemarketing, but you can use phone to congratulate the client for their recent success. This will form a cordial relation with the client and will bring you in his good books. Even a voice mail is good enough.
Follow and Comments on Blogs :
If your client has kept a blog, a good way to remain in his contact is to follow the blog, check it every once in a while and leave a nice comment on some post. Just make sure that the comment is constructive and not only the use of adjectives.
Making Use of Social Networking :
Social networking is the most in thing nowadays and a good business strategy is to be in contact with the client through the social networking sites, the most common of them being Facebook and Twitter. A professional persona on these networking sites can keep you in touch with the client even more than emailing.
Face to Face Interaction :
If you client resides in your locality, you can go one step further and meet them directly. This is a very useful tool to keep the client in the loop of what’s new in their business and yours. You can make the meeting planned or also as a lucky encounter.
Keeping Track of the Client is a Turn Off :
You have to show to the client that you respect their privacy. So instead of contacting them without informing, ask them at the end of the project if they like to be kept updated as contacting without informing is counted as stalking and might piss off the client. There are very less chances that the client will refuse to be kept in the loop if asked beforehand.
Final Thoughts :
There cannot be a bigger reward for a freelancer if he can manage to keep the existing client. Also, bombarding the client with ways to keep them in touch will do more harm than good. So keep the communication to a limit that is digestible. As there are a lot of chances of your existing client bringing in new business and even new clients, so invest a good part of your focus in doing the effort of keeping the existing client. All the things you do for keeping the existing client add up for bigger benefits in the end.
[Some Pictures purchased from Fotolia.com]