Customer service has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. However, whether it’s the overused “the customer is always right”, or having a dedicated customer success department, one thing is for sure — clients are at the center of every business.
So what is client management exactly?
Client management goes much further than a charming smile and the gift of the gab. There are an endless list of ways you can woo your customers, from the traditional methods to more scientific and organizational changes.
That’s why in our list of 9 simple effective client management skills to practice, we’ll cover personal interactions as well as structural changes you can make to nurture leads and make them return customers.
With so many communication channels out there, it’s hard to find a one-size-fits-all platform to contact your clients.
Using a CRM that has a range of communication options is key for any modern company. Social media is an increasingly popular method of getting in touch, but for B2B and more serious B2C operations, emails and phone calls are still the best option.
In your lead-capturing forms, you can give your new clients options of how they’d like to be contacted and save yourself the hassle of repeatedly phoning a number and going straight to the answer machine.
It’s easy to be impressed by great numbers on a sales person’s resumé, but without a solid understanding of your product and why people want it, you’ll be losing sales. This can be even worse in the post-sale period where you can gain a reputation for poor client management.
To get around this, set up a solid onboarding process where you train your new recruits on who your audience is and how to sell your product to them. Keep guides and cheat sheets in an online drive that your whole team can access and consult whenever they need to.
Good client management isn’t just about keeping your client base happy — you also need to make it work for yourself. It’s very easy to spend half an hour on the phone trying to meet a customer’s needs, but think how many more interactions you could have had in that time.
With tools like Bitrix24 you can track the time it takes you and your team to complete tasks so you can see where your time is best spent. For example, if your reports tell you you’re spending too much time on closing deals, find out ways of speeding up that process.
While you may have to cut some interactions short, as mentioned above, you can generate a great relationship with them by keeping good records of your communication with them. In Bitrix24’s CRM, you can save every phone call and add notes so that others in your team have a good idea of who they’re talking to.
By making records part of your client management strategy, you’ll create trust between your company and your customers which is invaluable.
There is no need to manually do every little task when you don’t have to. By automating processes in your CRM, you can save yourself time, but more importantly, eliminate the possibility of human error.
For example, you can ping off an automatic email as soon as a new client comes in, or automatically assign them to one of your sales agents. From there, you can drip feed them marketing materials such as newsletters or more targeted campaigns.
You may have heard recently that many are seeing the marketing funnel as a circle now — including reselling as part of the process. This is a process that generates loyalty as well as being another route for income.
Repeat customers often come through upgrades. For example, if your product is a course in coding, your clients may wish to study in steps, rather than one massive course at once.
To successfully get returning customers, a solid sales strategy needs to be in place, perhaps beginning with a satisfaction form, before working on gathering interest for the next stage.
To improve your client management, it’s important to have some reliable routines in your day-to-day work which free up your sales agents and customer service representatives for their more important tasks. Even your best workers are going to feel stressed and burnt out if they spend their days trying to navigate a web of complex admin tasks.
With Bitrix24’s HR management software, you can automate a lot of the smaller, more fiddly tasks. Then you can turn your team to what they do best.
Similar to streamlining your internal processes, having a set of reminders to make customer focus part of your routine is something that will pay dividends in the future. Using team calendars, you can set reminders for everything you need to do on a recurring basis, be it making calls, following up on emails, or checking your social media.
What makes it even better is if you choose a tool, like Bitrix24, that automatically populates your calendar with scheduled calls so you’ll never miss a beat.
As much as it’s not everybody’s favorite task, sifting through reports can give you insights that nothing else can. It can allow you to see where there are blockages in your sales process, how good your marketing ROI is, and which person is best suited to which role.
Using reports can seem daunting at first, but it is essential for large corporations as well as for small business management. By monitoring your sales reports, you’re finding and solving small issues before they turn into problems for your clients.
Now you’ve got your 9 simple effective client management skills, the key thing is to put them into practice. You can’t change a customer culture or working habits overnight, so make sure not to rock the boat too much.
By implementing new steps in an incremental manner, and showing your team the effect of them through your reports, you can keep everybody motivated as you make changes.