How Can You Use Communication for Stronger Business Relationships?
Communication and the exchange of information is a key factor in maintaining successful business relationships. Today we have the technology to communicate worldwide as simply as we can talk to someone in the office across the hall. What we need to know is how to leverage the tools at hand to build and maintain our business relationships. What do we do to clearly present our message, to make sure they receive the information they need? What information should we be exchanging with our clients? These are all important aspects of using communication to grow and maintain your business relationships.
Clear Expectations Equal Successful Communication
When working with your client you want to be sure to start off on the right foot when it comes to communication. You need to be clear about what their expectations are of you, such as where they want to communicate – via phone, email, Slack, Voxer – to name a few. What are the top priority items they need to know? Do they prefer a daily status email, a weekly update, or a monthly call? The list goes on. It is important that you too are clear about your expectations. Be sure to tell them when you are available, what are your turn around times to requests and if you will respond on weekends. These important items should be covered in your onboarding process and documented for both parties so there is no misunderstanding. By being proactive, and asking these questions, you are showing them that their needs are important to you and your company.
Tips for Adding Value to Your Client Communications
Once you have established how you will communicate, it is time to look at what value you can provide your client through your communication. Of course, there will be the day-to-day questions, reports that you will provide, but what is beyond that? How can you provide additional value? Here are just a few ways.
- Talk about your assignments. It is important to not only provide reports to your client but also engage in two-way conversations.Discuss the overall goals and what the next steps are for completing the task. Discuss the plans for going forward, making sure you understand your role in them.
- Be invested in the company. Be sure that you communicate to those you deal with on a project, that you are invested in the success of the project, and their company, just as they are. Let them know they are not just a paycheck to you, but a valued client.
- Share ideas or suggestions. If you see a way to improve a process, save them time, or increase their revenue, talk to them about it. You see things from a different perspective, have experience, and knowledge that could be beneficial to their business.
- Build connections. Go beyond just the business relationship. Get to know your client in a more personal way. You could then become valuable networking and referral sources for each other and your businesses.
I hope you can see the importance of communicating with your clients. How setting those clear expectations around how and what they need from you will build a positive working relationship. One of understanding and trust. I hope if you do not have a clear communication strategy with your clients that you would look at implementing one going forward. The relationships that you would form can benefit you both for years to come.
To learn more about how PMSpecialist can help you in your business, contact us today.