The Ingredients of a Successful Collaboration
“We split because of creative differences.”
“We wanted something and our clients totally wanted something else.”
“If only we were given more control or liberty in our expertise.”
“All we expected was timely response though delay is completely fine.”
Do these phrases ring a bell somewhere? One of the most common phrases or statements you will hear almost every other week if you are a startup owner or a freelancer. Having a day job is tough but having a startup is tougher. No matter how much effort you put in, something seems to lack at any given point of time. You know what’s the worse part is? While your day job friends are back from work from a specific schedule, you are still grinding on your work, unknown when you would actually get to hangout. That’s the everyday life of an entrepreneur.
All these on one side and customer relationship on another side altogether! Since most entrepreneurs learn marketing, administration, management, finance or any other skill on the job when handling projects, they tend to lose out on some of their clients without having the knowledge or exposure of the diplomatic ways of handling clients. If your startup is new, losing a client – that too on a bad note –can be lethal for your business and career. That’s why we have compiled some essential tips on how to handle your clients better and also create an ecosystem where you can ensure their expectations are also met. Read on.
Outgrow Your Ego
Being an entrepreneur, it is fair enough to have a certain amount of ego. But when you let that slip into the way of your business or relationship with clients, that is dangerous. One of the most common reasons clients and brands part ways because of creative differences is because of ego between the two. While the clients want a simple factor to be considered, the brand would have a different perspective of why it wouldn’t work.
At this point, you should remember that both of you are working for the project and involuntarily, it is the project that is getting better and not either of you. It is in fact a healthy argument, which you can tackle and pull it off for your project. If you think your client’s point is valid, don’t rebel without a purpose. You have nothing to lose but something to gain. If it’s the other way around, go ahead with their plan and give them a demo of how it would end up and why your idea was better. When clients see personally, they will take no time to agree to your idea. In the end, if the project is getting better, what could be better?
Communicate Clearly and on Time
It is okay to miss a deadline but the catch is that your client should know that the deadline would be missed. They should know of the alternate date the project would be ready and not text you an hour later after the deadline on the project’s status. Most relationships end because of lack of communication and on time communication. Similarly, don’t agree too much to extent that you can’t pull off feats. If you think 4 articles aren’t possible in a day, don’t accept and inform them at the end of the day, depriving them of the chance of allocating the work to somebody else. When you don’t clearly communicate, imagine how you would feel when the same happens with your payment. Simple!
Share as much knowledge as possible with your clients as that clearly inculcates trust, creates a personality for your brand and strengthens the bond between you and your client. Though you don’t have to share the intricacies of your project or the workflow settings, you can share information on what they can expect, what would happen at the backend and have them familiarize with your way of work. Imagine it to be something similar to a patient getting ready for an operation and the doctor telling them what is about to happen. This not just reflects your expertise and clarity of your thought process and work but tells them the authority you have at your work.
Psychologically, these are the three crucial aspects that can make or break your business. Maintaining a relationship with your clients is simple when dealt with honesty and transparency and all you have to do is reflect the same at every single layer. Let us know if we have missed something here! Good luck!