We know a lot about client relationship management. We created a business around it. And while we fully believe in the power of using well-designed tools, we also know that a customer relationship management (CRM) system is only as great as the coach using it. No matter how comprehensive your CRM platform is, you must develop client management skills to support your work.
Companies with strong client management skills set themselves up for success. They often enjoy better customer satisfaction and client retention rates, excellent word-of-mouth marketing from happy former clients, and invaluable feedback that improves their practice. It pays to be in tune with your clients.
CRM software helps. With these tools, you can standardize and stay on top of messaging, send surveys, and help the client experience run more smoothly. But how you use these tools is crucial.
In this article, we’ll explain how to make the most of your client management process with tips on interacting effectively with your clients.
What is client management?
Client management describes how a company interacts with the people using its services. This includes all forms of communication — from the initial phone call to follow-ups to marketing emails.
CRM typically involves data analysis. With customer contact comes data — however formal — on how well certain interactions perform. Companies can store and analyze this information to devise techniques to communicate more effectively with clients.
Client management systems also make business owners’ lives easier with automations for reminder emails or marketing campaigns, improved workflows, and tracking communication success metrics.
How to manage clients better
There’s an art to client communication. You may have the best plan in the world, but its success depends on how you execute it. Maximize your client interactions with the following tips:
- Set client expectations: One of the foremost rules on how to treat a client is to clearly communicate expectations from the start. If helpful, you can make a document that outlines your processes and preferences, sending it to clients before the first coaching session.
- Be transparent: People put their faith in brands that are clear and open about their products. Be upfront about your pricing and the limits of your services, and avoid portraying a confusing message or backtracking, as this only causes distrust.
- Ask for feedback: Even the most established companies can improve. Allow your clients to provide feedback by asking them to complete a survey or have an exit interview with you. Use this input to improve your practice or confirm what’s working well.
- Respect your clients’ time: Having a streamlined process for scheduling, messaging, and onboarding new clients shows you appreciate your clients’ time.
- Say thank you: We recommend thanking clients at the end of the program. This shows you appreciate their efforts and get something out of the process as well. You can also thank them when they make a referral or share your content on social media.
- Know when to say “no”: Sometimes rejecting a prospective client or saying “no” to a specific request is the best thing for both of you. If someone isn’t a good fit for your services, refer them to a coach that’s a better match. Remember to set boundaries early on. You’ll say “no” less if you let people know what to expect at the start.
Skills for client management
Strong client management involves several interpersonal skills, such as:
- Attention to detail: Show your clients you care by remembering essential information about them and personalizing your interactions.
- Assertive communication: Anticipate your clients' questions and have answers prepared. Know your boundaries and how to express them.
- Organization: A CRM system takes care of many of your organizational tasks, like saving client data, but it’s still a good idea to set ground rules with clients. Establish payment dates and forms, hours of service, and messaging hours.
- Confidence: Whether welcoming a new client to your services, rejecting one that wasn’t a good fit, or communicating something administrative like payment details, speak confidently. This confidence makes a potential client feel you have the knowledge and industry experience necessary to help them achieve their goals.
Effective client management tools
A coaching practice is often a one-person job. We recommend setting up the following processes to help you run your business:
- A communication plan: Creating a strategy for client communication will help you set boundaries, organize any new tools or technologies needed, and provide an effective communication cadence from the start.
- Cloud storage services: Because we deal with sensitive data, it’s essential to have a safe way to store it. Cloud-based storage saves you the trouble of worrying about physical hard drives or compromised downloaded files. Using a cloud-based system also makes sending and receiving documents quicker.
- A professional messaging system: To safeguard sensitive information and foster work-life balance, it’s best to avoid using personal messaging channels with your clients. This also streamlines the communication process as you won’t have to go digging around several apps to find conversations.
Streamline your practice
A comprehensive client management software ticks all the boxes. The Practice platform allows you to safely store important documents like your client communication plan on the cloud and includes a professionally encrypted messaging portal (with voice memos and chat). You also gain access to standard document templates made with coaches in mind. Try it today.