The best way to maintain a happy clientele in the long term is to manage their expectations from the start of a project to its completion. These are five tips to achieve that.
1. Explain & Discuss Possible Solutions: From the onset, discussing and explaining the possible solutions to a problem openly is essential. Doing this gives your client a concrete understanding of the complexity of the problem. It also helps them paint a picture of what the problem is and enables them to engage directly with the possible solutions. With this, there is less tendency for the customers to have unrealistic expectations of the project resolution.
2. Create A Scope of Work With Clear Timelines: Before commencing a project, it is essential to create a clear scope of work with definite timelines for all tasks. Clients tend to become angry if they expect a problem to be solved earlier and then it gets postponed. In cases where timelines will be affected or shifted, it’s better to inform them beforehand via phone conversations and documented emails. The reason for such shifts should also be articulated.
3. Follow Up Regularly: Always follow up with your clients regularly, notifying them of each task stage/idea implementation, requesting for feedback on the project, and reiterating initial conversations. Customer Experience Insight pointed out that most customers are not bothered by companies touching base with them. On the contrary, clients expect businesses to follow up with them to round out their customer experience. Follow-ups can occur via emails and video/audio conversations.
4. Be Realistic and Transparent: In setting timelines and line items of project delivery, always be realistic. Avoid mixing emotions and setting an unrealistic deadline for projects as it would significantly impact project delivery and make the clients unhappy in the long run. Also, clients tend to be suspicious of businesses due to previous experiences, hearsay or assumptions; hence, it is essential to remain transparent in your dealings.