Improve Client Relationships in a Wired World

Since electronic communication has permanently changed business, it's necessary to take special steps to protect customer relationships. Here are some tips to help you stay in touch in the age of electronic gatekeepers: 

Schedule face-to-face meetings. Find time to have lunch or to attend an industry meeting with your customers. We risk becoming so work-focused that we lose touch with the person who is our customer. Make sure your customer knows that there is more to the relationship than email and text! 

Call back in a timely manner. If you're typical, voicemail picks up most of your messages. Make it your priority to return customer phone calls; you are communicating that you are paying attention to individual's needs. 

Back up all electronic communication. When something important happens, put it in writing and send it via email to your customer. But back up that email with a phone call. Fallibility is the biggest problem with electronic communication!

Email materials your customers will find interesting. Send URLs of websites that could be helpful to your customers. Alert your customers to trends in their industries. By doing this, you prove that you care about their success as well as your own. 

Put yourself in your customers' shoes. How would you want to be treated? Wouldn't you like to experience personal contract with someone who is working with you? Contemporary communication has increased - not decreased - the pressure of getting jobs done, and the need for personal contact has never been greater. 

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