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Managing client expectations

  • Blog
  • 05 April 2016

No matter what the size or age of your business, managing client expectations is key to building trust, loyalty and helps to engender a professional reputation. We understand that it is imperative to maintain an open channel of communication that is built on a foundation of honesty and openness, especially as we supply members with often critical online legal information as they navigate the potentially thorny area of business forms.

Managing client expectations

Be human - and honest

Let's make it simple; you're a human being and so is your client. Put yourselves in their shoes, and consider what you think is most important in any business relationship. Respect, professionalism, honesty, and communication automatically spring to mind. And if this is what you would want to receive, then your clients will too. Being completely honest from the word go is the simplest way to get a business relationship off to the best start, whilst of course remaining positive about what you can offer.

Communicate all the way

At the FSB, we never underestimate the importance of open communication and neither should you, whatever the size of your business. Being available when clients need you, responding to queries quickly and anticipating potential problems are all ways in which you can successfully manage communication. We know that it's a busy world out there, and getting back to people can often fall by the wayside when the workload is mounting. Don't let this be the case; return that email or phone call as soon as you are able.

Listen and respond

Nobody knows what the client wants better than the client themselves, so the opportunity for them to properly explain their own expectations is vital. By listening to what they say, you're likely to be able to ascertain what is important to them and what they consider to be the most salient information. As you gain more experience in listening to clients, you'll naturally develop an ability to anticipate needs and wants, enabling you to manage expectations ever more efficiently.

Set out terms, have a contract

Business legal documents should be clear, concise, and personalised to meet the needs of your clients. By creating tailored business forms, you are showing professionalism while adding a personal touch that is on a rather more human level. Heavily worded contracts may be all-encompassing but they can be daunting for many. A contract should lay out the groundwork for an engagement as well as identifying who is responsible for what, which makes for improved communication throughout.

Whether you're setting up your small business from the foundations or starting to work on putting together client contracts, FSB members benefit from the vast range of documents available, ensuring that you're always compliant and up to date with legislative requirements.