9 better ways to use tech with clients
Technology enables strong, trusting client relationships, but many assume it’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Here are nine tips to use high-tech tools in ways that’ll enhance your relationships with your clients.
Trust-based client relationships are known to be at the centre of business success. They become even more possible using the power of technology. In our conversations with Umbrellar Connect’s partners, here are some of the insights that have stuck out to us.
1. Personalise your high-tech communication
Sometimes, e-blasts can make sense but more often than not you’re best to curate content with personal notes and comments. Include a powerful ‘why’ to let clients see they matter to you. Also, keep track of your communications to ensure your timing is on point.
2. Keep your website fresh and agile
Does your website align with your business mission and image? Ensure it’s as well prepared and professional as you yourself are when meeting a client for the first time. Today’s successful companies’ websites are up-to-date, streamlined with on-brand fonts, colours and layouts.
3. Use social media intentionally
If your competition is leveraging social media platforms, so should you. It is essential to have a planned approach in order to maximise social media as a communication tool. Social posts should connect meaningfully back to your organisational mission, as well as provide value to clients and onlookers. To cultivate credibility, avoid bombarding followers with pointless content. Post less and ensure your content is relevant.
4. Don’t be faceless or voiceless
Interpersonal interactions are the most influential way of engaging with clients – but they are not always possible. Video conferencing or phone calls are appropriate options in many situations, especially where distance is an issue. Email and texting are useful for staying in close contact with clients, but they should be supplemental – used to enhance and strengthen a well-established relationship.
5. Match medium to message
There’s a lot to say, and today many more ways to say it. If you’re trying to get answers about something complex, discuss a potentially sensitive issue or book an appointment with a busy person, pick up the phone. If you have something very important to say, you’ll want to officially distinguish yourself, which may make a letter most appropriate. If you need confirmation for a small piece of information and you already have client agreement, email might be best. To align yourself with your client’s needs, trust your instinct about what tools to use.
6. Pick up the phone often
Many people dislike phone calls. There’s no body language to guide you. Plus, conversations can drag on, and we’re all busy. To build relationships though, and stay close to clients, you’ll need to overcome this phone call phobia. Voice-to-voice interaction is a powerful channel for relationship building.
7. Listen to how the client communicates
We all have our preferences, and it’s likely each of your clients will vary in their communication style. One might prefer in-person sessions for example, and another might prefer more off-the-cuff phone check-ins. Stay dedicated to person-to-person contact but also note and honour each of their preferred styles. Efficient, effective business relationships involve a happy balance between the demands of the day, the client’s style, and your own.
8. Allow clients to access their information
Every client wants the information they need to be available at their fingertips. Empower clients and build mutual trust by respecting their time when they need to get answers.
9. Talk topics your client enjoys
With digital content king, thought-leaders are part of online, global conversations on the topics that matter most. Send them the links and articles you know they’ll enjoy. It’s a gesture – but not just a gesture, it shows you understand where their interests lie. Be warned to not go overboard with this though – superficial links and articles could actually weaken the contact value, and undermine the relationship.
Even though technology is changing, human needs don’t change. The relationships that mattered in the days of pencil and paper still matter today. Clients crave deep and meaningful connections to be loyal and engaged. Use your tech savvily – even though it can’t do everything, it can do a lot.