How to establish a good relationship with your clients
Last modified: 2018/06/27 | 5 mins
If you’re working as a contractor, it’s likely you’ll know the importance of nourishing and cherishing the relationships you build with your clients. A large factor in running a successful operation is getting off the ground and building a client base for your company. Initially, this can be tough. Luckily, we’re here to offer a few key pieces of advice so that your client relationships will be at an all time high and your contracting business will be booming in no time.
Read on for a list of tips and tricks that yourself and contractors on your team should focus on to create positive and long lasting contractor-client relationships.
Here's how to establish an excellent relationship with your clients!
Have the right renovation licences and certificates
The best place to start when beginning to assemble a network of clientele is to be certifiable. As a contractor, do you have all of the proper certifications to operate a business? Possessing the correct training and certificates for the job is fundamental to running a successful contracting business, as certification offers clients reliability as well as maintaining trust.
As they say, honesty is the best policy, so try and remember this in all forms of interaction. Obviously, contracting licenses vary from province to province and the proper certification for the job will depend on what specific marketplace or field you work in, as well as rules as specified by the city or municipality. Therefore, it’s important to be up-to-date and on top of these requirements. In most cases, holding the right certification will be a matter of completing specific training courses in your field. Make sure your clients know from the beginning that you are certifiable. Once this has been established, the rest of the tips on our list will seem easy.
Straight-forward and regular communication
Communication is another hugely important factor that cannot be overlooked. It is necessary for you to have clear and defined communication skills as a fundamental piece to building and maintaining client relationships. In almost every case, your client will be looking for someone they can trust, rely on and be open with. As a contractor, there are several ways which you can practice clear communication, and these are as follows:
- Pay close attention to the details of the project proposal and clarify anything that is unclear;
- As with our first suggestion, make sure that project details are clearly outlined before moving forward;
- Be certain that both parties understand and agree upon everything, including the total budget of the project upon completion as well as any additional cost headroom;
- Visual aids are an excellent source to help your clients to understand some of the more complicated details. A visual aid can help your client to feel exceptionally involved in the project.
When you have defined all the specific details and started working on the client's project, it’s important to regularly check in and update them on the progress. Set a primary mode of communication, letting them know the best way to contact with you if necessary. Consider the best ways to be accommodating, as older clients may be more comfortable taking a phone number whereas those who are younger may want an e-mail address.
Remember, don't beat around the bush. Make sure to let them know the total time the job will take to complete. Staying on top of the outlined schedule is another excellent way to assure and comfort your client, and grow one step closer to getting repeat business!
Knowing your clients on a personal basis
source: Flickr; InSapphoWeTrust
It’s good to put yourself in the customer's shoes! The client is usually entrusting you with their personal space, and it’s necessary to remember this when building relationships. To best complete their project and gain a returning customer, it’s imperative to get to know them on a personal level while continuing to remain professional. When meeting with a client and understanding the project, find out about their home life, the reasons for their undertaking as well as key details about their personal life in relation to project itself.
However, try not to be overly pushy in conversation and maintain some professional distance. Remain warm, open and honest. Being yourself is the easiest way to get into the heart and home of any person! Treat your client as part of the team, letting them in on the details of the process. If you are communicating clearly, staying on schedule and updating them regularly, this shouldn't be a problem. Try not to use contractor jargon, as this may alienate them. The more connected the client feels to the process, the more connected they will feel to you. Making your clients feel as part of the team will foster both positivity and loyalty.
Create a website with customer references
Now, we’re hoping you've built some positive relationships and are finding your contracting business starting to grow. What’s the next step? We’d suggest building a website for your business, complete with a place for clients to directly review your process. If you’ve worked to foster positive and constructive relationships, you should want your clients' feedback to help you find and earn more work.
Especially true when working with younger clientele, the entire world exists online. It’s highly likely that they will Google your company before reaching out. If you aren't that computer savvy, there are several freelancing options to have someone build a website for you. Even if the website is barebones, it is an excellent way to generate clients. By showcasing information about your business in an accessible way, you’ll show that you have nothing to hide!
Reach beyond your competitors
Finally, we’d suggest spending some time and conducting research in order to see what your competitors offer clients. How can you go beyond this and find something that makes your company truly unique? Maybe your response time is quicker than those other contractors? Maybe you’re more open to negotiating? Maybe you come with a detailed plan and better organization skills?
Remember, your business is an extension of yourself as well as your integrity. Therefore, a tailor-made selling point could help to gain and maintain clientele, putting yourself miles ahead of that other contractor who puts in far less effort.
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