When running a business, it’s not all about bringing in new clients, but keeping the ones you have too. Managing client expectations is no different.
Of course, it helps to keep your current clients happy, but it also ensures you have enough room to bring on more. In fact, retaining clients is overall more profitable than gathering new ones — and that’s why companies with higher retention rates typically bring in more money.
Want to learn more about what it takes to convert and keep your clients? Let’s take a look at these six real-world tips on how to manage client expectations and set them in the first place:
1. Make honesty and transparency your client management superpower
To effectively manage client expectations, honesty and transparency need to be your superpowers.
For starters, both honesty and transparency are absolutely crucial for building trust. Customers are much more likely to return to providers they can rely on.
2. Prioritize both regular and proactive communication opportunities
Establishing lines of communication is another important part of building trust. Think about it this way: Your client is investing money in you and your skills.
They want to know that the money was well-invested and that they’re not going to have to worry over multiple unanswered emails or phone calls. This means good communication should be a priority — and you should have plans in place for both regular and proactive communications.
3. Set realistic goals and milestones
Avoid falling into the trap of just saying “yes” to anything and everything for your clients. Your conversations can end with you promising that a task may not be completed or possible.
4. Combine pricing with your documented scope of work
Clients don’t always understand your prices. They place orders and you deliver without a fuss. That can lead to misunderstandings or even disagreements about the rate that you charge.
We mentioned this before, but we can’t say it enough – transparency is the best way to build a collaborative culture
with your clients.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to not only build trust but keep your client in the loop, offer them project visibility. This is especially important when you’re working on projects with a lot of deliverables that need to be completed in phases.
6. Look out for red flags and avoid difficult clients from the start
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably run into managing a few difficult clients
. They come in many forms: the nitpicker, the expert, the client with huge dreams but no plan to get there, and so on. How should you deal with them?
The short answer is: Don’t!
Remember that there are lots of potential clients out there. Working with someone who is throwing up lots of red flags has a reasonably high chance of leading to an unhappy client, which could cost you time and money — while leading to poor reviews.