How to make sure client communication is always a big hit?

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Poor communication ranks on top when we talk about causes behind project failures in IT firms. And, we’ve all seen it. Communication between the two parties is always a big challenge.

We all know that time is the most precious commodity for businesses these days, yet we are hell bent on following the old school way of communicating with the clients. You guessed it correct; I’m talking about emails.

We spend the countless number of minutes drafting emails to clients daily, and then waiting for their response. Ever thought how much time does it waste? A lot! Add to it the fact that a big chunk of emails go unread. So, it won’t be wrong to state that emails are consuming a lot of your time. And, client communication problem is still unresolved.

So, what’s the solution? How can businesses make client communication a big hit all the time? The resolution is really simple — remove all the roadblocks and create an interruption-free communication channel!.

Here’s a look at how you can do it -

  • Understand the client

The key to effective communication is to know what to speak and when. In order to achieve that, you ought to have a thorough understanding what the client is looking for. What your previous client loved, might not work at all with this one. Therefore, pay heed to the client requirements and expectations.

Most important of all ask the right questions in order to get the right answers from the clients. For instance, simply asking the client whether he wants an app for android or iOS is not enough. Ask them if they can share any app for reference, or a rough layout of exactly what they are looking for. Information gathering is the most important step in order to create the layout for the entire project. And, if you are stuck with the old school method of emailing for information gathering, then the next steps are surely going to capture your eye.

  • Unify your communication channels

Phone calls, emails, skype calls and the list goes on and on. These are the commonly used channels for client communication. The problem is none of them is as effective as they should be. And, when you are using multiple platforms for client communication, you are spending a lot of time juggling between them. Not to mention, there is a huge possibility of missing out on some crucial information during the juggling. After all, to err is human.

So, how can that be fixed? Unify your communication channels. For instance, online chat can be a great option to communicate not just with the clients, but within your team as well. In fact, advanced chat tools come with the option of Group chat so you can add your team members as well as clients to the chat and communicate without any hiccups.

  • Move from traditional to online collaboration

When was the last time a design shared by you with the client approved in the first instance. I’m sure the answer is — Never! And, when was the last time you were able to make all the changes as per the feedback shared by the client, every time you shared the design work. The answer is always. Ain’t I right?

What I mean to say here is that asking the clients to share their feedback via email can be quite confusing. The email volleyball, with you sharing the work with the client and them sharing the feedback multiple times, can be quite confusing. And, more often than not you miss out on any one of the emails and end up messing it all up.

A great way to eliminate this confusion is by collaborating online. There are online proofing tools, which allow you to share your documents, RSMs and other important documents and get feedback instantly.

  • Step into the cloud

Not literally, but yes if you will step out in the market you will see that the world is moving to the cloud. There are cloud based project management software, which has got literally everything you are ever going to need for handling your clients. This software gives you the option to not just keep all your project related data secure and neatly organized at one place, but also have some amazing communication features.

For instance, a tool like ProofHub has got an in-built group chat. So, you don’t have a switch to multiple tools — one for communication and one for data storage. There are online discussions in this tool as well, so you can make the most of your online collaboration endeavors and make client communication a big hit.

Just like any other field, communication has also diversified. With so many options and tools available, you can easily get confused and mess it all up by not choosing the right way to communicate. But, the tips mentioned above can prove to be effective for anyone and everyone who is looking to make client communication smooth, effective and error free.

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Originally published at www.linkedin.com.

Written by

Chief Marketing Officer@ProofHub. Featured writer on LinkedIn. Contributor at Elearning Industry, Dzone, Your Story and Business.com.

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