Corporate6 Minute Read
What You Need to Know to Build Thriving Client Relationships and Successful CRM
In my role, the key to a successful client partnership is always the relationship. It takes time and consistent effort to develop thriving client connections. Customer issues can happen at any time. They need their partner to manage accordingly. Let’s discuss how to develop prosperous client relationships that deliver results – for the client and for you.
What is Client Relationship Management (CRM)?
When people reference CRM these days, they are generally referring to client relationship management as a system. It helps manage your relationships and interactions with potential and current customers utilizing specific technology. CRM technology can streamline how your sales, marketing teams, and even customer service teams interact with clients. It is designed to strengthen and elevate the customer experience with positive engagement, operational efficiency, and communication. Ultimately, it helps companies grow their customer base and helps retain current customers. However, the most critical element is the human connection. You can have the best technology, but if that person-to-person element is missing, you won’t be able to sustain the relationship.
Why CRM Can Make or Break Your Business
Happy customers mean a thriving business. But what’s the process when starting a relationship with a new client? Right from the start, get to know how your clients work, understand their culture, what is important to them, and what success looks like for them. If you ask questions and listen, you will be able to understand their style. That will allow you to tailor your strategy and recommendations and help to customize any roadmap for success. Find out what matters to them, and it will matter to you.
How Do You Foster and Maintain Effective Client Partnerships?
The most essential attributes of a successful client/partner relationship are following through on commitments and effective and consistent communication. To keep a client partnership going strong, you must deliver on what you promise. It’s not enough to simply meet expectations; you must exceed them and do it with passion, creativity, and top-notch support. If you perform and deliver, you will ensure your client is successful and that they shine. You also need to have superior communication channels. An open, continuous dialogue with your client helps you both to uncover potential issues and resolve them before they become a problem. And one last tip: with the challenging times we are experiencing right now, many clients feel overwhelming pressures to perform, cut costs, reinvent themselves, and more. As a partner, you need to be calm in the storm. You are the safe space where ideas flow, solutions are plentiful, and chaos is replaced with strategy. Good partners will be there for you as you ride the storm, but GREAT partners will ride it out with you and bring you back to calm waters.
How Do You Manage Hurdles?
Find balance. Not all clients will want a partnership, and that is okay; it is not personal. Some are simply looking for a solution or a vendor. Be the best solution out there, exceed on all deliverables, keep communication strong and be YOURSELF. You can still move forward with a partner-driven focus and expect the best results.
What are a Few Best Practices?
Be YOURSELF – I cannot say this enough. In my experience, strong partnerships are built on authentic connections. I take time to get to know my clients and ensure they feel like a person, not a business transaction. It’s the little things…celebrating their success, sending a note on their birthday or special occasion. Taking a genuine interest in who they are and how they operate will humanize the partnership. Don’t force it – make it real and always be genuine.
How do You Measure Success?
The most obvious way to measure success is to identify if you are getting a return on your investment (or the client is). Or maybe you are looking for the tenure of partnerships, contract renewals, or exceeding goals and metrics. When I have a client that will be a personal or professional reference for our company, share feedback or give us direct quotes, that’s what means the most to me. It reflects all things…performance, relationship, trust, and respect. When a client will put their name, their brand, and their reputation out there for you – that is success and the biggest compliment you can get.
Our teams are the reason we have been successful, and that’s what makes us different. My focus is on connecting our experts with the right resources to ensure we deliver on the promises we’ve made to our clients. By taking the time to understand your client’s culture, goals, strategies, and priorities, you will have greater success in creating authentic connections.
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Vice President, Program Success
Published on October 6, 2022
Published on October 6, 2022