Client management demands a delicate mix of communication, honesty, and high-quality output. It can be challenging enough at times without having to do it remotely as well, as most businesses have chosen to do. More and more companies are offering their employees the option to work remotely for more flexibility and a better chance at striking a good balance between their personal and professional lives.
Working remotely should never compromise client relations since clients breathe life into the business. Your teams put so much work and effort into acquiring new clients for the business so keeping them, maintaining a good working relationship with them and taking care of them should be paramount. Here, we will touch on the 7 essential tips for effective remote client management. But first, let’s look at some of the basics:
The basics of client management
You have a new client. Hooray! The easy part is over. Now the real work begins – how to keep them. The basic principle is to know where you stand. The fact of the matter is your client has a lot of options when it comes to service providers, they just happen to take a shine to you, so now it’s up to you to deliver. After securing a new client, you’ll have to sit down with them to cover the basics:
- What they need from you
- What you can give them
- Your KPIs and SLAs
- Your turnaround time
- Regular checkup schedule
Once you’ve set goals and expectations with them, it’s time to wow your clients and show them what you and your team can really do for them. But what if you need to do it remotely? Do you have to do things differently? We say, apart from giving them a little bit extra of everything, nothing much should be too different. Here are the 7 essential tips for effective remote client management.
1. Keep talking while working
It still is true: the key to any long lasting relationship is good communication. Good, constant and honest. Even if you don’t have anything new or big to report on, make it a point to check in with your clients just to let them know that you’re still working with them and for them to reach your ultimate goals. This should be on top of your list for effective remote client management. Keep in mind that your client entrusted you with their business. Give them the respect that they deserve by keeping them in the loop. Some clients like face-to-face meetings while others prefer voice calls and working remotely is a threat to being able to make these kinds of connections. Thankfully, Bitrix24’s elite remote client management software offers ultra HD video conferencing
and super clear audio calling options. You can share your screen, send files, and instant messages, so you maintain transparency and avoid misunderstandings.
2. Appoint a manager
Try as you might; you simply can’t do it all. There are some things that really need to be delegated. If there is someone in your team that you’re confident can do the job, feel free to assign a client to them and they can be the appointed client manager included in your initiative for effective remote client management. The client can always escalate matters to you or reach out to you if needed, but the client manager is primarily in charge of updating them on a regular basis. Make sure you’re also kept in the loop in all communications so if needed, you can intervene and help out. However, having a client manager in your client management system
frees up more time for you to do other tasks while it also creates a sense of accountability and responsibility within your team while making the client feel important and cared for.
There has to be a certain give and take when it comes to the input your client is allowed to give. Since your partnership mostly involves their business, it would be sound to allow them to have a voice in the daily comings and goings. This means allowing them to contribute and collaborate with your team, consisting of your effective remote client management scheme. Bitrix245 has a document management system
where you can create, edit and share pertinent documents and other files with specific clients. You can grant access rights to external contributors and users can make changes and save those changes online all at the same time. Bitrix24 also has Extranet Chats and Extranet Workgroups
to allow for seamless collaboration between your internal team and external clients.
4. Undersell and overdeliver
There’s nothing worse or more embarrassing than overcompensating. It happens when you make too many promises to your clients. One of the best client management tips is to undersell your team and what you can do, keep your promises to at least the bare minimum and then overdeliver, as in exceed your client’s expectations. Before even beginning your partnership, you’re supposed to sit down with the client to map out your deliverables, KPIs and SLAs. When doing this, always leave a buffer for your team and set a higher goal for them to shoot for. If they fall short, you’ll still be delivering within the client’s expectations. What makes it sweeter, however, is when your team actually achieves your internal goal, surpassing what your client is expecting of you.
5. Manage and supervise
Remember that as the leader, it’s your job to oversee the client managers and stay on top of their deliverables to make sure nothing falls between the cracks and gets missed. Make sure you’re able to see the bigger picture so you can always nudge someone in your team who’s falling behind and coach them to see if they need any assistance from you. Conduct regular meetings to see if anyone is facing any roadblocks in completing their tasks as an adjunct to effective remote client management. Delivering on time establishes your credibility and respectability, not only for your clients but the industry as a whole.
Bitrix24 hosts a powerhouse of tasks and project management tools
that you can use to make sure your team always delivers on time. Track the time spent on tasks, create Gantt charts and Kanban boards to create a sense of urgency and accountability on assignments, and generate reports for coaching sessions and one-on-one meetings. You can also use these reports to furnish your clients with. Through Bitrix24, you can also share calendars with the rest of the team, so everyone is calibrated on deadlines, events, and meetings.
6. Be human
How to manage clients effectively includes building relationships with them which means you sometimes have to get personal. The only way you can develop empathy and build rapport with a client is when you can relate to them as people, not just as a business opportunity, belonging to your effective remote client management system. Yes, you need to keep things professional, but it makes the working relationship better when you have trust, mutual understanding, and respect. In the same way, you need to keep this in mind when dealing with your team. Remember, how you treat them may affect how they treat your clients. Track their workload and work hours so you can adjust accordingly, especially when stress levels are high and deliverables are mounting. Showing your team that you care for them on a personal level will make them feel cared for, valued and respected. This will translate to how they conduct business on your behalf.
7. Get the right tools
Finding the right tools will take your client management system a long way. There is simply a lot of ground to cover, mainly when you’re not working on premise so getting the right remote client management software is paramount to success. This way, you can be sure that the work will get done on time without having to micromanage everyone.
Bitrix24 has the perfect online collaboration for remote work
. From managing tasks and projects to make sure SLAs are met, to top-quality communication tools for video and audio calls and to employee management, Bitrix24 is all you need. What makes it better is that it’s available for use on multiple platforms and devices and it’s absolutely free! With Bitrix24
, your plan for how to manage clients effectively is foolproof and successful!