Client Management: A Full Guide
What would your business look like without clients? Clients are the only reason your business exists so you should always make client satisfaction your main priority.
Clients who purchase your products or services are your source of income. Therefore, client management should be one of the key focus areas of any organization.
According to a survey by Adobe, customer experience is the most important factor that stimulates the growth of companies. Most companies think that customer experience helps them grow better than social media, content, and data-driven marketing.
You should provide the best customer experience to attract new customers and to make sure that these people will return again. Not only should you understand what they like or don’t like about your products or services, but you should also build good relationships with them.
It’s impossible to choose what people will become your customers so you should be able to deal with your customers’ demands and wishes as effectively as possible, quickly reacting to their requests and behavior. This is the main goal of client management.
What Is Client Management? 🧐
Client management focuses on relationships with clients so it’s often called client relationships management (CRM). You may also encounter the term “client resource management,” which refers to the same concept.
The main purpose of client management is to develop and maintain relationships with clients and customers. Client management is important because when your customers are satisfied they are more likely to make a purchase and they are also more likely to become loyal customers.
Given that client management is responsible for all aspects of relationships between a company and its clients, it performs several key tasks:
- Figuring out what the clients’ needs and wishes are;
- Responding to the customers’ requests and providing what they need;
- Evaluating the customers’ needs before they express them;
- Ensuring effective targeted communication to respond to the clients’ needs.
Client management teams can achieve these goals by gathering customers’ data and analyzing it. For instance, they might collect data on the history of purchases and interactions between their clients and the company.
Client management also often relies on various reporting tools that help analyze data and determine how business relationships can be improved. This way, companies can improve their client retention and increase customer satisfaction.
Any type of management requires you to set realistic expectations and to establish certain boundaries. Client management is no exception so you should be aware of the key principles of client management.
- Communication 🗣 👥
Communication is crucial for client management because, without consistent effective communication, you won’t be able to ensure transparency and to determine the needs of your customers. However, you shouldn’t be annoying so the frequency of communication must meet your customers’ preferences. You don’t want your clients to ignore your messages so you must make sure to reach out at the right time. Besides, you should enable your clients to choose channels through which they can communicate with you. Some customers might want to receive emails, while others might prefer phone calls.
- Transparency 😇
Your customers should never feel like you’re not telling the whole story. Without transparency, you won’t be able to build trust. Besides, if you don’t tell your customers something, they will quickly fill the gaps themselves so you will lose control of the narrative, and your relationship management efforts will be undermined. Therefore, transparency is extremely important. Although customers may not be interested in some boring details about your products or services, you should inform them about any significant updates on a regular basis. You should also be ready to explain any important decisions made by the company.
- Alignment 💁🏼♀️
All the information that you share must correspond to the needs and interests of your clients. You should be able to not only understand the needs of your customers but also to align the goals of all the departments with the clients’ needs. Therefore, you should also set clear key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you can measure the effectiveness of your efforts.
Here are some important benefits of effective client management:
- Customers will buy more 🛍
Selling to your customers is easier than selling to people who are not familiar with your brand and your products or services. If your customers have already been satisfied with their purchase, it means that they trust you and they are interested in what you offer. Besides, you can offer additional benefits by upgrading your customers’ products or providing premium customer service.
- You will boost loyalty 🤝
When your customers are happy with their experience, they will likely want to repeat it so they might buy new versions of your products or continue their subscription. Besides, client acquisition takes too much time and effort to lose your clients because of poor client management.
- They will bring new customers 👩🏽💻👨🏼💻
When you have happy customers, they might recommend your products or services, bringing new clients and therefore increasing your revenue. First, they might talk about your products and recommend them to their friends. Also, they might leave positive reviews on various forums and social media, improving your brand image. Besides, they’ll be more likely to refer potential clients if you ask them for it.
What Is Relationship Management? 📝
Customer relationship management is a term that refers to interactions between a company and its customers, as well as to the methods used to build positive relationships.
Effective client relationship management can have a great impact on a company’s reputation, while also improving customer retention and increasing the revenue. In contrast, poor relationships management can ruin your reputation in no time because your customers can spread negative word of mouth both offline and online.
A subset of relationship management is relationship marketing. It helps integrate relationship management into the very core of your sales strategy. The main objectives of relationship marketing are creating long-term engagement and boosting customer loyalty.
Relationship marketing aims to do everything to keep customers buying from you. When properly done, relationships marketing also creates free promotion and brings word of mouth referrals.
It’s important to use every interaction with your customers to build better relationships with them. Therefore, you should make sure that all your marketing materials have a clear purpose and resonate with your clients’ interests and needs.
For instance, you should make sure that your copy delivers the right message. If you need to find professional copywriters who are familiar with your industry, you can check out writing services review websites like Online Writers Rating and Best Writers Online.
Relationship marketing is a great approach for businesses of any kind. However, it can be especially appreciated by service businesses, as they are unable to rely on immediate, transactional sales. Instead, they need to build trust, and they cannot know for sure how much value their efforts will bring until the job is done, which might happen a few months later.
Benefits of Relationship Management
- High-quality feedback 👏🏼
If you put a lot of effort into building positive relationships with your customers, you will have many opportunities to gather valuable feedback. You need feedback to improve your services and products, but customers may not be motivated enough to leave it, especially if they are satisfied with their purchase. By building good relationships with your customers, you’ll be more likely to make them interact with your brand so you’ll have more chances to gather insightful feedback.
- High ROI 💲
Proper relationship management will help you increase your customer retention, but it’s not the only advantage of having a good relationship management strategy. According to statistics, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profits by up to 95%. Selling your products or services repeatedly to the existing customers will be more cost-effective than acquiring new customers.
- Online reviews 📲
If you use every opportunity to satisfy your customers and build strong long-term relationships with them, you might get many more online reviews, which in turn will improve your reputation and attract new customers.
- Word of mouth 💁🏾
As much as 92% of consumers trust their friends’ recommendations when choosing products or services. Therefore, there’s no surprise that relationship marketing can be more effective than traditional advertising.
Client Management Software 💽
Effective client management requires you to collect lots of data and to analyze it. Besides, it’s associated with numerous administrative tasks. Fortunately, you can use various CRM software that can help you increase productivity and stay organized.
According to Grand View Research and Gartner, the revenue from CRM software has demonstrated a steady growth year after year, and it’s expected to reach $80 billion by 2025. Here are the top seven tools that will simplify numerous client management tasks.
This is a powerful yet simple tool that combines contact management, reporting, pipeline management, various email tools, and sales automation. Nutshell enables you to manage your clients in different ways.
For instance, you can choose a traditional list view to sort your leads into different groups based on their potential value or the stage of relationships. This way, sales reps will see who they should pay attention to.
You can also use a board view feature to drag and drop leads to the next stages of the sales cycle and to mark them as won, canceled, or lost. This way, sales reps will be able to quickly evaluate the overall state of the pipeline.
You can also use a map view to sort prospects by their location, and a chart view will help you see the quantity and value of your open leads, as well as the timeframe. Prices start at $19.
With Pipedrive, you can easily manage your leads and deals with both custom web forms and chatbots while tracking all your communications (phone calls, emails and contact history) at the same time.
Following up on everything streamlines how you deal with your client pipeline - allowing you to set reminders on all your activities, sync them with Google Calendar and and check in on the progress with a visual sales pipeline.
There are also plenty of Pipedrive integrations available to get the most out of the tools you're using. A helpful reporting feature brings you closer to understanding why you might be losing deals and as well as what can be improved while insights and reports allow you to measure your performance against the set goals. Pricing starts out at 12.50$ for the essential package.
Zendesk was created as a customer service tool. However, it quickly outgrew its initial purpose so now it also includes many features that can help establish a strong connection between support teams and sales departments.
You can combine its sales and customer support tools to foster collaboration, improve customer experience, and set the right context for your marketing and selling tactics.
Your sales reps can see when clients or prospects open a support ticket in a particular client’s contact record so they can quickly understand the context of the customer’s issues. Besides, every client’s contact record contains a full history of communication. The cost of Zendesk starts at $5.
This is a unique CRM tool that was developed for eCommerce businesses. It includes various features dedicated to email marketing, contact management, personalization, and work with multichannel touchpoints.
One of the best things about this program is that it includes advanced tools for segmentation. You can manage contacts and add any labels or tags to them. For example, you can create a specific tag for inactive customers.
This way, you can also filter people who have already purchased your products or services before or interacted with your website this month. You can also sort your clients based on how much money they’ve spent. Thanks to this system, you will understand what every group of prospects is interested in, what they’re clicking, and what they would like to buy. The price of Drip starts at $19.
This is a great tool that combines client management and team management. It was created as a team management tool but now it’s a complex solution that enables organizations to track, organize, and manage performance, production, and workplace activity. This program includes various templates for different industries and purposes. For instance, it includes templates for sales CRM and partner management.
The sales CRM feature is convenient and effective. It will help you manage customer relationships, leads, and monitor the sales pipeline. Monday.com enables you to create forms and include them on your website. After this, you can collect the submissions directly to your Monday.com board. All your activity and contact data, including emails, meetings, and sales, will be saved. Besides, this tool will help you organize deadlines so that your teams can complete all the necessary tasks on time. Prices start at $8.
Active Campaign provides a variety of software dedicated to automation, messaging, and customer relationship management. Its CRM tool offers countless useful features, including lead scoring, contact management, sales reporting, sales automation, segmentation, and win probability.
The lead scoring tool is probably the best feature of Active Campaign. It will help you monitor how clients interact with your company. If they open your email, visit your landing page, schedule a meeting, or submit a form, you’ll immediately see who you should pay your attention to.
A great thing about this tool is that it adds lead scoring information to your individual contracts and overall deals. When the lead score of a certain prospect increases, you can quickly understand who is most likely to make a purchase. When your contacts reach a certain lead score, you can add more tactics.
For instance, you can use email automation to send your prospects information that might be interesting to them or motivate them to take the next step in their customer journey. Prices start at $9.
This is another CRM and marketing automation tool that includes numerous features for sales and relationship management. For instance, it features workflow automation, lead routing, and relationship linking.
The last two features enable sales reps to follow up on warm leads immediately. For instance, sales reps can be automatically connected with leads based on their activity, including interactions with your marketing materials, phone calls, or emails.
Sales reps can use this tool to map and monitor different aspects of customer relationships. For example, people who you’re in contact with might also communicate with their bosses, other members of their teams, and other departments. Thanks to this tool, you’ll be able to better understand the organization’s structure and to target decision-makers. Prices start at $29.
This is one of the most popular CRM solutions. It includes various tools for lead management, sales forecasting, opportunity management, and email integration. Many businesses choose this software because of the sales forecasting feature.
This tool enables you to get real-time forecasts for your sales reps. You can override visibility depending on the management hierarchy and make in-line adjustments to your forecasts.
This tool enables you to monitor the whole pipeline of your company and to see what sales reps demonstrate the best performance. Thanks to various forecasting and tracking opportunities, you can set achievable goals and search for solutions before any issues start to impact your sales. This tool will help managers streamline and simplify the whole decision-making process. Prices start at $25.
Effective client management is crucial for any company’s growth. It enables businesses to build long-term relationships with their customers, boosting loyalty, and generating word of mouth.
Client management also helps businesses meet their customers’ expectations by analyzing their behavior and feedback. If you develop good relationships with customers, you’ll be more likely to get positive online reviews, and your customers will be more likely to purchase something from you in the future.
You can use various client management tools to collect data on your clients’ preferences and behavior and to track their customer journey. Some tools will help you organize your contacts and determine the most promising leads, while others will help you automate various marketing tasks or streamline your sales reps’ workflow.
One of the main ideas of effective client management is that you can use any interaction with your existing clients and prospects to achieve your company’s important goals. Therefore, we recommend that you choose software that corresponds to your needs and don’t be afraid to experiment.
This article was written by Ana Mayer. Ana is a freelance writer who is a qualified specialist in the field of digital marketing. She writes for different news portals and thematic blogs that helps her stay at the heart of the programming and technology news. Such work gives her the opportunity to write articles on the most relevant topics of today.