The thrill of getting a new client puts you on some kind of cloud nine. You’re feeling accomplished and looking forward to the new project at hand. However, that can quickly change depending on the type of client that you just brought on.
Let’s face it, in this day and age it’s normal for people to have no boundaries in how they communicate. That can get old and bothersome in a business setting.
So, to save your sanity upfront, it’s time to put together your blueprint for communicating with clients. You will know what you want and your client will know what to expect in the way of communication expectations.
Set Clear Communication Guidelines in the Welcome Package
Your welcome package is your proof of everything that you verbalize in the consultation. You can express everything about your communication guidelines verbally (only), but if it’s not in written form, your client can act like you never told them. Then you have to go back and reinforce guidelines, which can be difficult.
In your welcome package, lay out the acceptable forms of communication for their project. Do you communicate with clients via email, text, phone calls, and social media platforms? If there is a form of communication that you prefer not to utilize, by all means, please communicate your wishes.
Make sure to detail the hours and days in which you will receive and engage in communication. If you don’t communicate after 5 pm on weekdays, please state it. If you don’t communicate over the weekend, definitely say so.
Also, let them know what they can expect as far as your response time.
No matter how well you communicate your boundaries, there will still be some clients who will forget or totally override what has been established; especially communication over the weekends.
For e-mail’s set an out of office message for the weekends and your days off/vacation. If they happened to text you, my recommendation would be to let them know you will take care of their request after the weekend (unless it is a legitimate emergency).
Stellar Communication on the Clock
When your hours of communication are open, be great in your communication with your clients. Be as detailed as you can. Go the extra mile to understand what is needed and how you can execute it. During those times of communication, make your client feel that you are fully engaged and present with them on their project.
As I wrap it up, do you have a story to tell in how you were able to set up communication boundaries? What strategies have worked for you? In your experience, what has not worked for you? Teach us something we need to know.
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