Every company has had problems with clients. While some problems just can’t be avoided, some can. Whether the problem came from a misunderstanding of what the client wanted or from simply getting them to pay their bill, there are things you can do to reduce the number of those potential issues that actually become headaches.
The first thing you can do is keep communication open and frequent. Keeping clients up to date on the progress of an ongoing project can make a huge difference down the road. Clients who don’t know what is going on can get nervous and will often feel like you are not worried about their vision of the end result. A call, email or picture of the ongoing process will likely ease their concerns. It also ensures that they will be pleased with the end result because they will be approving each step of the work. This will help you in the end as well. If something in the middle of the project is different than what the client wanted you’ll know right then. You’ll be able to fix it instead of finding out when the product is complete and having to uproot all the work done since that point. That being said, set milestones of completion when the client will recognize that something significant has changed. They won’t notice every detail like you will and will not appreciate updates that occur too often.
Keeping a paper trail will also prevent many future headaches. The start of the paper trail is the contract. Make sure that each of you knows what you will be providing. Anything outside that realm is at your discretion but you won’t be obligated to do it. There will also be little to no confusion later on about what you are obliged to do because your agreed upon services are listed explicitly in black and white. This will be useful if your client comes in and says that you agreed to capture the moon for them.
You should also keep a running account of all payments so that there is no confusion when it comes to the client paying their bill. . You will be able to tell them when and with what method they paid a bill. Don’t assume that you’ll remember who paid what, because we’re all human and humans make mistakes. The last thing you want to do is anger a client by accusing them of not paying their bill when, in fact, they did.
Another practice that all companies should, but rarely do, is follow up with a client after a project is complete. A couple weeks after a service has been provided or the product was delivered it is important to follow up with the client and see how the service or item is functioning for them. If they are unsatisfied, you will be able to correct the issue. Good after-sale service is often a determining factor of whether people will recommend a company to others.
If your client is satisfied with the service or item you might be able to get a review from them that you can post on your site or even get repeat business with them. A follow up is just another way of showing your client that you are concerned with their satisfaction of the product or service and improves their opinion of you as well. A simple way to follow up is to send an email with a survey. To be more personal you can also call and ask about it.
As a company, the last thing you need is more problems to deal with. So try out these practices, they will help keep some of the problems at bay and help better your reputation as a company.
Meredith Kisow is a senior at LSU majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in public relations. Meredith enjoys reading in her spare time.
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Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.