How to manage our reputation through communication with client. Part 2

10 May. 2023

Choose a communication model for the client. In order for the interaction to be as effective as possible for both sides, it is necessary to strive not just to smooth out misunderstandings but to prevent them. Moreover, one should always be prepared for such a misunderstanding; various questions from the customer, certain disagreements, and the manifestation of emotions on his part can be considered a habitual working moment that almost always arises. Especially if you provide certain services and do not provide a ready-made material product.


The explanation is simple: no one person can be an expert in everything. And if he turns to you, it means that your field of activity is not particularly familiar to him. Hence, there is an experience for the result, a misunderstanding of certain moments. 

Therefore, it would not be superfluous to offer the client a choice of interaction format, for example, like this:

• as a performer, you take on all the tasks and are responsible for the final result yourself; The customer only needs to receive periodic reports (and even then, it is not always required) and the result of your work itself;
• the client participates sufficiently in the execution of the order.

To choose a model of interaction, it is important to accurately understand the desires and motivations of a person. Otherwise, one client will think that you want to dump part of the work on him for his money, and another may be convinced that since you do not devote him to the details of solving the task, it means that you are hiding something from him. Both will not have the best effect on your reputation in the eyes of a particular customer. But negative impressions tend to spread quickly, especially in the current age of accessible communication technologies.

Ideally, the format of the work should be discussed at the initial stage of the project. Moreover, you can offer the client the opportunity to test different options so that he can choose the right one. This is again both providing a choice and taking care of the client, both of which will be useful for your business image.

Work so that the client does not want to "leave" from you

Remember that in all cases, it will be cheaper to keep the current client than to find a new one. Therefore, you should work in such a way that the customer forms a "dependence" on you (exclusively in the good sense of the word).

However, this does not mean that it is always necessary to make concessions; so long as the client does not leave, mutually beneficial cooperation should be put at the forefront. It is possible to concede on this or that issue if:

• it will not bring a loss to the company;
• this will pave the way for further effective cooperation.

If the client makes more claims than it brings you money, then in this case you should not give in. Therefore, always reserve the right (actual and moral) to refuse service to one or another customer and not to take up his task. This is normal and natural.

However, first, you should always try to find a compromise and mutual understanding with the client. In the end, as the immutable rule says, the client is always right. At least because he is not an expert in your field. 


Therefore, always try to make your work as transparent as possible for the client:

• show what result he will get;
• explain exactly what you will do;
• explain what you will not be able to achieve in the current situation under any scenario;
• discuss all the nuances of communication by order: date and time, convenient channel, the procedure for making edits, and approval of interim results.

Today, in conditions of abundant choice, customers value not just a specific product or service but also a service. Work in such a way that the person is comfortable with you throughout the interaction, and he will definitely remember it. But do not forget about your own benefit; it is hardly worth conceding to yourself at a loss.

Politeness and honesty are the basis of any communication.

No matter how often you interact with the customer, the following pillars should be the basis of cooperation:

• Always use polite communication. It doesn't matter if you talk on the phone, communicate in Messenger, or use social networks; you have to be polite. But without fawning and excessive unctuousness!

• Punctuality. All incoming requests should be processed as quickly as possible. And answer not only the explicitly voiced question but also those that may arise after reading your answer. That is, it should be as complete as possible, but without "water". Write strictly to the point. Remember that the addressee has his own affairs. And the sooner he gets the information he needs, the sooner he will make the final decision.

• Focus on the customer's needs. Develop empathy and analytical abilities in yourself (and in your managers) in order to accurately understand a person's "pain" and offer the best solution for it.

• Agreements must be strictly observed. If you have agreed on a deadline for certain work, then do everything to meet it. If, for one reason or another, it is not possible to meet the deadline, inform the customer in advance and be sure to explain what caused the delay.

• Proactive position: try to offer clients a solution to their problems even before they contact you. On the one hand, it will demonstrate your attentiveness to the customer by taking care of him. On the other hand, it is a great competitive tool.

As a conclusion

A very important point, which is especially often ignored by beginners, is that you need to properly assess your strengths. Before you take up the task, evaluate how much is "in your teeth". If you understand that you do not meet the conditions announced by the client (budget, deadlines, result), then make a counteroffer. "Yes, we can take it, but we will do it by such and such a date", "The task is clear, but it will take so much money because...", "Under the specified conditions, it will not work because..." You should always take into account that the impression of you as a performer will be formed based on the results of the work. That is, it is much more important not that you took it up but how well you performed it. And it is better to reasonably refuse the order today; in this case, there is a chance that the client will return to you with another order. If you disappoint his expectations, it is unlikely that he will turn to you again.


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