3 Effective Ways to Improve Client Communication

improve client communication

No need to ask a therapist: communication is key for a healthy relationship, whether it’s romantic, familial or professional.

As a creative entrepreneur, how should you approach client communication with current and potential clients? To help you figure it out, CreativeLive has teamed up with HoneyBook to bring you new classes on the ins and outs of being a creative entrepreneur. Meanwhile, here are some ideas for good client communication:

Choose the smart way to do it

Although you might like to be available for your clients at all times to help with questions or concerns, it might not be the most effective way to create a lasting client relationship. When you’re signing up a new client and getting their information, you could choose to include questions about their preferred methods of communication (email, a phone call, face-to-face, text message, Slack, video chat, etc), and what times or days are best to be in touch.

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However, to keep things under control and as a client relationship best practice, it’s a good idea to state your own communication preferences from the very beginning. If you want clients to call you only during your working hours, mention that in your website or your email signature. Get a phone number that is only for your business and let it go to voicemail outside of your set work hours. Or, don’t offer a phone number at all if you prefer to stick to emails and social media. Just because you are no longer in a 9 to 5 job, making yourself available to clients at any time could be stressful and make you a less happy entrepreneur. This can be especially difficult if you don’t always have internet access. HoneyBook‘s project management platform includes a client messaging system so you can keep all client communication organized and in one place.

Automate to save time (and skip the stress)

Find a client communication system that works for you. There are plenty of methods and strategies out there, so step out of your comfort zone and experiment until you figure out which one feels most natural to you. HoneyBook allows you to set up automatic responses to new inquiries so your potential clients get a speedy reply and feel taken care of from the very first contact with you. Save even more time by setting up follow up emails, thank you emails and task reminders on HoneyBook.

You might find the formalities of doing business intimidating or complicated. HoneyBook is built specifically to do the work for you by streamlining and automating all the required paperwork and processes.

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Your contract and invoice templates are tailor-made for your business—all you’ve got to do is send in your business process details to HoneyBook. Less time spent on the admin stuff means more time to focus on doing great work for your client. Now that’s effective client communication.

Listen up—and ask questions

Of course, enjoying good communication is a two-way street. That being said, the client is paying you, so a lot of the responsibility falls on you. Whenever you connect with your client–whether it’s on the phone, via email or in person–you want to be clear and make it known that the client’s needs have been heard and understood. If you don’t completely understand their requests, it’s your job to ask for more details so there’s no confusion when the delivery date rolls around.

improve client communication

It’s critical to be a good listener to have stellar communication skills with your client or the company your working with. Let them talk through their ideas before you interrupt with your suggestion. If you find that your client loves to tell you about his kids or dog or wood carving hobby, listen and ask questions. Same goes for responding to email inquiries. As branding expert and HoneyBook educator Ashlyn Carter points out, your response is a chance to make a great first impression on your potential client. “State their problem back to them in their own words–people buy when they feel heard and understood,” Carter says. In all your communication with the client, being a good listener and showing you have high emotional intelligence is a surefire way to build trust and strengthen your business relationship. It will create the best experience for your client, too.

Talking business doesn’t have to be as serious as it might sound. Get a clear understanding of your client’s needs. Why does he or she need your product or service? Keep in mind that your client is just another person trying to get stuff done, and you’ll find it easier to connect and communicate if you add a personal touch to your client communication.

Business Fundamentals for Creative Entrepreneurs 
HoneyBook is dedicated to helping you grow your business. Our top educators will show you how.
RSVP for the live online broadcast of this course.

Suchi Rudra

Suchi Rudra is a nomadic writer of articles, stories and songs, taking inspiration from her travels. Follow her wanderings at Tread Lightly, Travel Naturally.