Time To Talk: Communicating Effectively With Your Clients

In business, one of the most important and yet underrated skills is the ability to communicate. If you’re a good communicator, it will enable you to get clients – and, even more importantly, it will allow you to provide the sort of customer service that retains clients long term. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you communicate better with your clients and customers in the workplace.

Work On Your Phone Manner

A lot of us dislike using the telephone. As awkward teenagers and college students, we all know that feeling of getting our mothers to make our doctors’ appointments for us. But becoming an adult means one thing: you have to start making your own phone calls. If you don’t feel confident about doing this in the workplace, unfortunately it’s only practice that can make perfect. If you feel nervous, write down what you want to say beforehand. Make sure you’re clear about who exactly you want to talk to before you make the phone call.

Ask Questions

If you don’t ask questions, you won’t know what exactly your customer requires from you, and if you don’t know what they require, it’ll be a lot harder to produce a final result that both of you are happy with. Ensure that you’ve got all the information you need before you start work by understanding their end vision, their history, their process and the tone of the project. Make sure that you become a good listener – once you’re a freelancer, you aren’t working for yourself. Being a talented and impassioned writer, artist or designer isn’t enough. You need to make sure that your work matches up to the brief that you’ve been given, so make sure that you’re completely certain about what’s required of you.

Utilize Computer Systems

It’s important to make sure that you make use of all the resources at your fingertips. Using an open-source CRM can help your business to grow and survive as it enables you to manage your relationships with your customers. Containing all the information you need on your clients, a CRM can make sure that you’re up to date whenever you talk to them and that you’re absolutely on top of your business.

Use Positivity

It’s important to have a positive and optimistic outlook on life in general, and even more important to be positive in the workplace. When you’re talking to your clients, make sure that you ask positive questions, like ‘Do you have any ideas you’d like to share with me?’ instead of ‘Do you not have any idea what you want from the project?’. In addition, your customers are interested mainly in what you can do for them. If they’re asking for something impossible, make another suggestion of something that you can do instead of telling them you can’t do it.

Speak In Their Language

Not everyone is from the same area of business. If you’re a designer and you’re talking to someone in management, the two of you might have completely different ideas about what’s feasible and possible and what the project needs to be. Ensure that the jargon you use is understandable and that you’re both on the same level – you don’t want to baffle and fluster someone into agreeing with whatever you’re saying and then producing something that they aren’t happy with. A relationship that benefits both you and your client is long-lasting, so make sure that they feel comfortable with you.

Don’t Just Rely On Email

Email is, of course, extremely useful. Transmitting information to people instantly saves a lot of time – however, it isn’t always the best method of communication. Email doesn’t facilitate discussion very well and it’s harder to bounce ideas off people online. Try to get together in group situations as much as you can with the rest of your team and your clients. Face to face communication is vital – up to 90% of communication is non-verbal and as such you might manage to sort out points in person that both you and your client were uncertain of when you were discussing them over the phone or via email.

Keep Your Clients Updated

One way to get your clients and customers on your side is to keep updating them without them having to ask. Make sure you check in regularly, even if they don’t specifically ask you to. This means that you’re constantly reassuring them about the status of the project and it will be absolutely clear that you’re on top of it. In addition, talking to them means that you’re getting to know each other better and forming a good working relationship, meaning that they’ll come back to you in the future when they want more work to be done.

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Ive been blogging now for 5 years on various sites for the love of knowledge share. I decided to start my own blog a few years back to share everything from tech to business news. Follow me on twitter for more.