86% of buyers are willing to pay more if it means a better customer experience.
75% of consumers prefer companies that offer rewards
65% of business comes from existing customers
The most important factor in a strong relationship with your clients is trust. Trust is the thread that weaves through every healthy relationship, and that’s especially true in business. In this article, we will explore how to create a strong foundation of trust with your clients and what other venues for creating and maintaining rapport can emanate from that trust. This will often require a cultural change in how you approach your business, and here at Digital Resource, we are all about culture.
Trust Starts in the Onboarding Process
Onboarding is the initial procedure of bringing a new client into your business. This is when your client will become familiar with what your business will do for them and set goals and expectations.
First impressions are critical in a business relationship, and those first 90 days of a client relationship will be the foundation for your business relationship. Onboarding is when you start creating that valuable foundation of trust with a new client.
No One Wants to Feel Like Just Another Client
Regardless of the services you provide, trust starts with feeling heard. If your business is re-using service templates from client to client, they will start to take notice. This is a sure-fire way to erode client rapport from the onset.
The best way to make a client feel like you are dedicated to their specific needs is by creating a customized approach for the services you’re offering. This will require your company to be keenly aware of the concerns, fears, or business-model of your new client. To achieve this, we recommend a questionnaire or better-yet, an initial interview to get acquainted. The more you know about their business, the more effective your services will be.
This is especially relevant when building rapport with your client in the onboarding process. If you are dedicated to their needs, focus on being responsive to their inquiries, and make them feel like they’re important, that will have two positive returns in the long run:
Clients will be more likely to retain your services in that pivotal 90-day period
They will be more likely to spend more on your services
Basic customer service principles like having a quick response time to client inquiries require zero overhead to execute. A little effort in this area of your business is bound to pay enormous dividends.
Rapport Means Continuously Proving Your Value
Once you’ve snagged the client, your work really begins. The way you approach that relationship is especially important because chances are that those long-term clients will be the bulk of your business. In fact, for most companies, 65% of the market comes from existing customers.
Incentivizing your clients is a way to create a value-added experience, and everyone wants to feel like their dollar is going further than they expected. There are many ways to make your clients feel like they’re getting more bang for their buck, here are some of the most popular methods:
Discount on their next order
Small discounts for clients that frequently purchase in bulk is an effective method of maintaining their business long-term. A 10% discount here and there will make your best customers feel appreciated and ensure a better business relationship.
Provide additional services
If done correctly, this can be a very cost-effective method of making your clients feel appreciated. Identify small services that cost you very little and throw them on top of an existing deal for free. A small give can mean a substantial take over the relationship.
Make them feel like it’s an exclusive experience
It’s important never to forget that your customer has options. Tailoring a service or program specific to one of your clients will not only improve your relationship, but it will also make them feel like they can’t get your service anywhere else.
Be Transparent and Make Promises You Can Keep
Proving that your business offers a unique experience to your clients means letting them know that with you, they’ll hear the hard truths that other companies won’t tell them. Being a Yes-Man might get your foot in the door, but it won’t bode well for your long-term rapport with the client, and the second you don’t deliver on your ‘yeses,’ that trust you’ve worked so hard to build will quickly erode.
So, what does transparency look like in business?
Accuracy in what you can accomplish
Overpromising the fastest way to underachieve. Keep your promises reasonable and attainable. For a healthy business relationship, it is better to set realistic expectations and work to surpass them.
Don’t hide your mistakes
Few qualities are more representative of high character than quickly owning up to a mistake and work to correct it. Your clients operate under the same ethical principles you, do don’t be afraid to look human because if you aren’t making mistakes, it means you’re not trying.
What you say is just as important as how often you say it. Having regular communication via as many channels as you can make the customer feel like they are your priority. The frequency will depend on your services and how intensive your project is, but keeping the client in the loop will make them trust you with their money.
We Know These Values Work Because We Use Them
As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. We would not steer you in the wrong direction, and we know these principles work because we apply them in all our client relationships. Learning how to maintain a healthy rapport with your clients costs almost nothing and will ensure long and successful business relationships. If you want to learn more about how to maximize these efforts through digital marketing, contact us today to get started!