By providing your clients with a great experience, you’ll ensure that they’ll come back to your business again and again. You can also rely on them to promote your business through word of mouth. In this way, building a good relationship with your clients is essential to the long-term success of your business.

We’ll reveal a few of the secrets to building long-term client relationships in this article, including:

  • Be patient
  • Research and ask questions
  • Go the extra mile whenever possible
  • Focus on their needs
  • Respond promptly
  • Recap and explain next steps

Be patient

One of the big differences between a client and a customer is the length of the interaction you’ll have with them. With customers, it’s rare that your interactions last longer than an hour, and even that amount of time is only necessary with the most involved sales. With a client, you could potentially spend weeks or months working with them.

This means that you’ll have a lot of time to build relationships with them. So if you don’t instantly have a great rapport with your client, don’t worry! If they’ve hired you for a long-term project, you have time to improve the relationship.

This also means you should be patient when it comes to building relationships. People find it off-putting if you are too aggressive in trying to get to know them. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort, but don’t rush things when you have plenty of time.

Research every client

Just as you would research competition for a business plan,  research your clients before attending a meeting with them. Try to learn whatever you can about their business and the industry they work in.

Your research method might be as simple as reading through their business website, but any small facts you learn could be useful. If you want to be particularly thorough, interview their employees or the person liaising with your company so you can ask more specific and detailed questions.

This research should prepare you for any issues that might arise while you work with them. On top of that, particularly passionate clients tend to appreciate when you take an interest in their work.

Go the extra mile whenever possible 

Building a long-term relationship is all about being memorable, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to always go the extra mile for your clients. This might be as simple as delivering materials outside of work hours or travelling a long distance so that you can deal with a problem in person. 

Whatever form it takes, doing as much as you can for a client is vital. It demonstrates your dedication to your clients and can be a useful tool to set you apart from your competitors.

Focus on their needs

Customers and clients both have an enormous influence on the businesses they interact with. This means it’s in the businesses best interest to focus on the client’s needs at every opportunity.

By focusing on the client’s needs, you’ll guarantee a great customer experience. You’ll also be able to create a satisfactory ending to the project you’re working on, which is always helpful for encouraging repeat business from a client.

Usually, a client’s needs will be fairly obvious — they will likely tell you exactly why they’ve hired you. That said, you may need to work a little harder sometimes to work out exactly what your client needs. 

If a client hasn’t described their needs in detail, it might be because they know they have a problem but don’t know how to solve it. In these cases, don’t be afraid to ask a few questions — doing so helps you learn more about the problem and how you can solve it. 

Respond promptly

If you want to provide the best experience possible to your customers, it’s not enough to respond to their queries with a polite and professional business email. You also need to send that response as soon as possible. 

Even if you cannot solve the client’s issue or answer their question in your initial email, acknowledging that you’ve received their query is important. It reassures them that you’re interested in their problems and are available and willing to help. 

While replying quickly is important, try not to use the automatic response tools many email systems use. If the client expects a solution and only gets an automated email that you’ve not even written, they may become frustrated.

Recap and explain next steps 

Whenever possible, try to remind clients of what you’ve done for them so far and how they can build on your work. This is a good way of reinforcing your importance and demonstrating that you’re interested in the client’s success. 

If you’re preparing for a meeting with a client, make sure that you include a recap as part of your presentation. This helps everyone in attendance remember what you were discussing, and being memorable is important in building a long-term relationship with your clients.

Managing client income with Countingup

If you apply these tips correctly, you should establish a great relationship with all your clients. This means they’ll hire you again and again in future, which in turn means you might need to put more time into your financial management

Trusted by over 40,000 UK businesses, Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. 

With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here and start your 3 month free trial today.