8 Tips To Manage Client Support For Your Business
Clients can be very demanding and it is common for them to expect more from you than you are able to deliver.
Managing client support can be overwhelming when you’re unsure of what they really expect of you. Clients can be very demanding and it is common for them to expect more from you than you are able (or willing) to deliver. Here are some tips to make your life easier:
Appoint someone to manage client support
If you’re not a sole proprietor, it would be the easiest to have a dedicated person to manage client support. Alternatively, you can rotate client support among your employees, but make sure that each of them understands exactly what is expected of them to manage client expectations effectively.
Make sure you understand the requirements
It is important to learn to really listen. Make sure you understand exactly what the client needs in order to meet their expectations. If you have questions, ask them. Never just assume that you have the correct answer. Also, make sure that you know and understand the client’s industry so you can offer them a competitive and complete solution.
Under-promise and over-deliver
Be transparent and honest about your timelines and abilities. Always add contingency time to your project timeline so you don’t miss the deadline, just in case something goes wrong. Always aim to go the extra mile. When you’re modest in your promises and end up giving more than they expected, they will feel like they can trust you. Never promise more than you can deliver. If you’re unsure whether your team will be able to deliver something, rather tell the client that you will find out than just saying yes.
The client needs to know how (and when) they are able to contact you. They need to have the correct contact details and know the correct procedures to follow if there’s an emergency. It’s also possible that they want to add extra features to the original scope, so they also need to understand the correct procedure to follow and know who to contact when this happens. Official after-hours work and support should be charged extra for so they don’t abuse it. Explain to the client how your pricing works at the beginning to avoid them being surprised by extra invoices.
Never do work for free
If your client wants to add or change something and it will use more of your resources than agreed on initially, don’t be afraid to send them an extra invoice. Doing extra work for free will ultimately just cost your business money.
Learn to say no
It’s okay to say no to a client if they expect something unrealistic or impossible in terms of service or timelines. Explain your “no”, as it’s important that they understand why you’re saying no. Always offer alternative solutions to their problem, and tell them if it’s going to cost them extra.
Communication is important
Send your clients weekly status updates. They probably need to report internally and it will be useful for them to know how their project is coming together and what you are currently working on. The time you use to create reports will be well spent. It is also very important to communicate with the client the moment you realise you won’t be able to deliver by the agreed deadline. Always respond to client emails right away, even if you only say that you will have a look and get back to them.
Software to use
Project management software can be very useful for you to make sure that the project is on track and that everyone involved knows what is expected of them and what is going on. Client Relationship Management (CRM) software can also help you to manage your client communication and data effectively.