By : Akhil Gopakumar
Building client relation helps in building a startup
For any business to sustain, money inflow plays the most integral part. And in any business the main source of money are clients. In short, your clients are your business. Building client relation is equal to building your company.
We at Neovibe, always make sure to keep good communication terms with our clients. By doing so, we understand their problems in terms of business. Since we understand their problem, we are able to provide suitable solutions for their needs and this helps in asking for remuneration after completion of work in a smooth manner. Because in a startup, getting money after a work is completed, is a tedious process and sometimes can lead to a quagmire (we have experienced it many times). Even the whole process could go out of sorts and end up in jeopardizing the bond which you have with them.
Here are some tips which would be a shot in the arm for people out there who struggle to redirect the money from their clients’ pockets to theirs. And do understand that this is a very common issue in the business gamut.
Let me run by you a few methods we tried and are still trying.
Treat the clients like the way you want to get treated
This is the most simple way to earn the trust of a client, but the most forgotten lesson too. While doing business, always think like your clients. Just put yourselves on their shoes and think whether they like or not what you are going to do or what you are going to say. It’s a kind of self rehearsal before conveying anything to the client. This one practice can itself solve most of the problems which may arise between you and your clients. By doing so, you will be able to provide the client the same amount of respect and service which you would want if you are in their position. This helps in building client relation without affecting your growth.
Be honest while building client relation
The clients must be having a huge expectation from you. Most of them will be assuming that if they provide information the size of a brick, you will be able to build a house with it. So if they are asking to do something which are way ahead of your capabilities, be honest with them. Just convey to them that you are not qualified right now to do that. But don’t stop there. Ask them for time which you need to get qualified for that particular project. After all it’s your business. So it is your responsibility to not lose your client.
And remember, don’t say yes to something which you are not capable of on fear of losing your client. If such a thing happens, it will become a huge problem for your business in the future and eventually it ends up losing your client, which is your worst nightmare. So be honest with them. Saying NO is really difficult but one that helps in building client relation that is strong.
Know your clients and their needs
First of all, keep in mind that your customers are not money vending machines. If someone is approaching you, understand that they need something from you or they have a problem which they believe you can provide the solution. Sometimes you have to sit with them for hours regarding the project work. Maybe they won’t be having a clear idea of what they want. Either you can just implement a solution based on what your clients say and get paid OR you can suggest your own ideas, help improve their business, get paid and most importantly earn their trust. Off work chats are also advisable as it will help you to know your clients better and by that way you can strengthen the relation with them.
Treat each one of your client the same
You may be having different types of clients in your business. Some may be an established firm and others may be running local business. As a service provider it is your responsibility to treat each and everyone the same. Give the same amount of service and respect to each client because you never know, from which one of them you are going to get continuous business or which of your clients are going to refer you to others. Just because someone is running local business, don’t think you can treat them secondary. Just remember today’s small firms are tomorrow’s MNCs. So if you are with them, it means more business and growth for your firm too.
Provide excellent quality of work and support
I think we don’t need much introduction to this part. However good your relationship with the customer is, they will surely leave your service if your work quality is bad. Remember they are not here to fuel you in your growth. They are here to get their work done in a good and affordable way. Try to give suggestions and good add ons for their project. This will in turn increase your value in front of your clients. Most clients welcome an enhancement which you suggest, if they understand it is good for their project.
Keep a buffer time
Most part of the revenue from a project comes after the completion of the work. It is not advisable to ask the client for a full payment all of a sudden. Remind them that this much amount is due from their side. If they ask for some time, which you can afford, allow them that much time plus a little more if you are okay with it. We here at Neovibe offers our clients a buffer time of one month maximum, if they are having any sort fundraising problems. This practice also helps us in building client relation as they welcome this gesture because they believe we also understands their problems and are doing what we can.