The success of any transaction-making business heavily depends on client management. It determines the outcome and the future of the collaboration by shaping the interactions between clients and business representatives. For most businesses, this means losing or gaining loyal clients, trust, and revenue.
What is Client Management?
Simply put, Client Management is the practice of fostering relationships with clients and potential clients.
As opposed to the average customer who makes simple transactions with limited interaction, clients seek to build a business relationship. Clients are the types of customers who pay for professional services and build a close connection with the provider in the process. As such, the built relationship between the client and provider will determine how clients feel about the company and talk about the service.
The White Glove Experience
A white glove experience means VIP treatment; close attention to detail, a high level of service, and special care.
It comes down to prioritizing the client’s needs and wants, creating unique and tailored solutions, and surpassing their expectations. This is when clients feel genuinely considered and cared for. White-glove experiences make clients want to return time after time, generating consistent revenue, positive reviews, and advocacy.
On the other hand, a non-white glove experience may make the client feel taken advantage of and exploited for profit, negatively affecting trust and driving clients to competitors. Even in less extreme cases, clients may stay on the lookout for other and better services and opportunities.
Delivering only what is expected is not enough to keep clients anymore. Businesses need to differentiate themselves through the experience they provide to their clients. Customers expect high-quality service, particularly in the tech sphere.
The challenge arises when the service is carried out remotely and clients expect the same level of attention digitally as if they were with you in the same room. By utilizing client management software, a company can provide its clients with a tremendous amount of personalization and clear communication without even meeting in person.
The increased level of expected quality might sound threatening to some businesses, however, it is a massive opportunity. Good client management also results in beneficial referrals, upselling of products, positive brand reputation, and trust.
Good client management is a cost-effective solution; it's cheaper to retain a client than to get a new one. Acquiring a new customer can cost you 5 to 25 times more than keeping an existing one. Frederick Reichheld also proved that increasing customer retention rates just by 5%, increases profits by 25% to 95%.
This is not a secret: happy clients get you more work. When a client is impressed and satisfied with the delivered service or product, there's a good chance they'll refer you to others. Referrals are the golden ticket for client servicing industries. A referral is free and generates more qualified leads than what is expected to come through marketing efforts.
Upselling on products
There is a fine line between a client manager and a lousy salesperson. Most of the time, that comes down to their ability to upsell. Upselling is about recognizing clients' needs and offering a service to satisfy them. This way round, the client gets better service, and you increase revenue and improve the client relationship.
If you regularly follow up with your clients, you know where their pain points are. Pain points will show where to upsell functionality and features. When there is a new business launch, you will also know precisely which clients are the best match for the new product.
It doesn't matter if your business is B2B or B2C; positive reviews are critical. The best client management practices develop strong relationships. Excellent relationships with clients will organically produce positive reviews. But also, a good client management system can prompt clients to leave favorable reviews.
How to provide the ultimate client onboarding experience
A stellar client experience starts at the onboarding process; one of the most critical aspects of successful client management. Client onboarding is a transition period where the client moves from sales into the business ecosystem.
During this process, the client is equipped and initiated with the communication channels, tools, and methods used by the provider company.
It is also when the most considerable amount of information exchange takes place. There is a long to-do list to go through such as introductions, KPIs, timelines, processes, and expectations.
A good onboarding experience pivots around engagement. You want to ensure the client is engaged with you and make sure they feel you are engaged with them. Communication is critical at this stage. Forbes explains that to improve client relationships, onboarding, and longevity, the focus should be on getting to know your clients closer. The interactions should not be reduced to business transactions.
During the onboarding process, two things become necessary to avoid an information-miscommunication mess. A resource center and a timeline space.
This is the go-to place for all relevant documents, reports, files, videos, etc. Having a resource center ensures efficiency and transparency. A resource center brings all the vital information a client needs into one place. It's a one-stop shop for all work-related information, from policies to processes, reports, and instructions.
The question to ask here is what onboarding resources do your client need to have access to?
Keep communication clear
A resource center helps you to avoid overloading communication channels with requests for information that is readily available but hard to find.
Rock facilitates seamless documentation and file management through its Files mini-app. You can easily share folders and files with your clients and store and access them in the app through integrations with Google Drive, Smartsheet, OneDrive, Dropbox, and Notion.
Working on a design project? You can keep Figma and Adobe Creative Cloud design files in every space. Share wireframes, brand designs, or advertising visuals without the hassle of jumping between platforms.
To avoid an overwhelming information mess, you can create notes and topics in the working spaces with detailed explanations and let clients leave comments below. By utilizing comments, it’s always clear which documents and topics everyone is referring to – no need to provide further context or search back, it’s all in one place, in order.
Prefer to visualize the planning? Use the tasks mini-app board view to better organize information by category, and add labels and assignees for further filtering. You can attach cloud files to tasks so your files mini-app and tasks are seamlessly connected.
A timeline space is necessary for transparency, accountability, realistic expectations, and effective collaboration. A timeline needs to be set for each deadline and deliverable. Creating a timeline can also be useful if you deliver a report on a recurring basis.
Rock allows you to create a timeline with a calendar view on the Tasks mini-app. This allows you to schedule things without leaving the platform.
Tasks you create with a start and/or due date will be visible in the calendar. Add descriptions, attach files and comment on the task for any updates.
Day-to-day operations management
Leverage remote work tools and make your clients feel involved without scheduling too many meetings. Asynchronous work provides valuable flexibility to both parties; saves time and energy while maintaining high quality. Your clients don’t have to wait for the next meeting to improve work by leveraging messaging, tasks, notes, and files in a space. When urgency requires it, you can always use the meetings mini-app.
Set up a task management board for activities you might require your clients to do. Use full-fledged messaging to stay up to date on what to do. Use topics to reduce the number of notifications everyone receives. Add cloud files in the files mini-app if relevant to the operations. You can also upload files from your device.
Combine your resource center, timeline, and day-to-day operations space in a single workspace and directly invite a client to multiple spaces so nothing falls through the cracks. Through Quick Connect, your clients simply have to scan a QR code or click on a link to join your workspace. There is no registration required, making client onboarding frictionless.
Behind the scenes: create internal spaces for client management
Discuss client work and @mention tasks, notes, and topics from your client spaces. This way you don’t have to send continuous links or go looking for work across spaces.
Create different tasks for clients to track updates like a CRM. You can also use the tasks mini-app to manage activities for different clients and use labels to know what work is being done for that client.
Key accounts CRM
Create a task board for key accounts' CRM information so you can add a description and discuss the account in the comment section without leaving Rock.
Top client management tools
Client communication and collaboration: Rock & Loom
Rock offers unlimited added members and spaces. Messages, tasks, notes, topics, files, and meetings are all in one place. In addition to Rock, you can use Loom to leverage asynchronous video communication and give your client, for instance, a personalized welcome without scheduling one more meeting.
If you combine Rock with Loom, you can create videos for clients and attach them to different subjects on Rock. For example, tasks, notes, topics, and other relevant items.
You can scale up using this method by applying the same process to onboard multiple clients. For example, you record one video about finding relevant reports on Rock. You could then send the same video to all new clients, rather than creating a new recording every time.
Instead of scheduling a meeting for an exact time, you can record a video where you pass on the information. Your client can then watch this in their own time. This way you improve documentation and help people refer to information rather than remembering what was said in a meeting.
If you prefer a CRM with increased functionality, you can also use HubSpot, Salesforce, or AirTable to manage higher numbers of clients.
HubSpot has many great offerings as a CRM, including contact list management, ticketing, prospect tracking, and ad management. Alongside this, the HubSpot training library is fantastic. There is also a free version for small businesses which is excellent for client management.
Salesforce has made a name for itself through high customization levels, tailoring the CRM precisely to a business' needs. The software scales fluidly and is equipped with sophisticated AI and analytics, as well as sales forecasting, workflows, sales data, and lead management.
AirTable lets you build apps for collaboration, with as little coding knowledge as possible. With AirTable, you can make bespoke workflows as well as share projects with people.
Storing files properly is critical for security, efficiency, and legal reasons. Rock integrates many file storage solutions. Integrate your preferred cloud storage providers in the Files mini-app and attach documents to tasks, notes, and topics.
Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud-based storage solutions. You can sync documents, photos, and files of most types with multiple other users.
Dropbox allows you to store and share files online. It's particularly useful when you send large files that can't be delivered in other formats, like email.
You can store a huge amount of files on Notion such as DOCs, PDFs, PSDs, ZIPs, MPEGS, and MP4s. With a paid package, anything can be uploaded, with no size limitation.
Create a true white-glove experience with Rock
Rock allows you to truly provide a white-glove experience to your clients. Leverage all-in-one communication and collaboration with workspaces, manage internal activities and client communications on the same platform.
No more multiple subscriptions, no more switching between platforms. Just one tool. With Rock, you can let go of platform switching and start concentrating on getting the work done. To find out more about how Rock can improve your client management, sign up for free today.