How to communicate with clients effectively
1. Always respond in a timely manner
You may be attentive during sessions, but what about outside them? Communication doesn’t stop when the session does. Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping up with messages, even if they’re just about logistics like scheduling. Show your clients you’re on top of things and care about their success. Make a plan to check and respond to messages; this will help you be in control and show your clients they’re your top priority.
2. Keep written messages concise and straight-forward
If you send your clients long, dense messages, they may miss important information. Avoid misunderstandings by getting straight to the point and using clear, concise language. Make content easy to digest by using bullet points emphasizing essential information. Before sending any messages, read through them to see if there’s anything you can remove.
3. Ask questions
As coaches, we should never make assumptions. Ask as many questions as you need to better understand who your client is and what they hope to achieve. Asking questions can build trust, help clients open up, and improve your ability to guide your clients through the coaching process.
4. Ensure your clients understand your messages
Helping people make strides in their lives and growth doesn’t come easy. If it did, our clients wouldn’t need our help as coaches. With our help, clients inevitably learn more about themselves, have to process this information, and make changes. But don’t assume all the points you’re making are hitting home. Check in with your clients to ensure they understand, especially when discussing complex ideas. In sessions, use follow-up questions like “Does that make sense?” or “Do you have any questions?” to allow your clients to speak up and voice any confusion.
5. Pay attention to syntax and grammar
Keeping your messages brief and to the point is important, and so is using the right words and grammar. Messages with spelling errors or confusing sentences look unprofessional, and they may make your clients feel like you don’t care about business communication or your clients’ time. Poorly-written messages may miss the mark and confuse your clients. Take the time to review your messages before you send them and ask yourself: “Is this the best way to explain my point?” and, of course, “Does this make sense?” A little editing goes a long way.
How to interact with customers online: Here are 3 quick tips
Virtual meetings present a whole range of new opportunities and challenges. We can help clients worldwide and meet with them from anywhere. However, audio and video interactions are tricky because there are often unexpected distractions, and we lose the benefits of face-to-face sessions. Body language and eye contact are great easy-to-use non-verbal communication in sessions that add a personal touch, but it’s challenging to do so online. Here are three tips to help you interact with your clients online:
1. Be an active listener
It’s hard to tell if someone is following along on a video call, so show your clients you’re actively listening by repeating important information and bringing up details to let them know you heard them.
2. Don’t interrupt your clients
Interruptions are generally a bad idea, even in in-person coaching sessions. In virtual sessions, interruptions are especially confusing because the audio may cut out, making it difficult for you and your client to hear what’s being said. An accidental interruption here and there is par for the course in online communications, but intentional interruptions can become frustrating and even seem rude.
3. Follow up if necessary
Some of us are auditory learners, others prefer visuals, and others love to see things in writing. Follow up in online sessions with key takeaways to refresh your clients and ensure they understand. Create a space where every client feels comfortable asking questions, so you can answer them to the best of your abilities.
What’s the best way to communicate with clients?
When possible, give your clients the option to communicate with you in their preferred medium. Some find phone calls efficient and direct, while others prefer messages or emails they can read when they have time. Here are some effective client communication methods:
What tools can I use to communicate with clients?
- Messaging apps like Slack
- Video calls
- Practice’s platform
Communication techniques when dealing with difficult clients
Whether in-person or virtual, on a call or over email, tense situations sometimes arise. As coaches, we help clients address sensitive issues, and we may have to deal with a client who’s frustrated, feeling down, or simply having a bad day. These situations are normal; try rectifying them with the following tips:
Focus on improving the situation instead of rehashing their frustrations. Let the client know you’re listening by repeating what they’ve said, and try to keep the conversation positive by focusing on solutions.
Put yourself in their shoes
Before you judge a complaint as irrelevant, try to see things from the client’s perspective. Empathize with what they’re feeling, and think critically about whether there’s anything you can change in your coaching strategy to address their concern and improve your client relationship.
While it may require a time investment at first, establishing a unique communication strategy with each client ensures more efficient interactions going forward and greater customer satisfaction in the long run.
Ensure you never miss a beat — or message — with Practice. If communication is your art, think of us as your canvas. Try Practice today to better communicate with your clients and help them achieve greatness.