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As a freelancer who works with a variety of clients and customers, ensuring they are happy is a must. Because if they're happy, they will stick around and you will reap the benefits. You need to grow your business organically but this means having a professional reputation, so what does it really take to make your clients' lives easier?
We've got to dance to their tune. When we understand the best ways our clients like to pay for how they like to work, we can incorporate little things that will make the whole relationship easier. On a very basic level, providing a wide variety of payments for customers or clients is always going to make life easier. Knowing the benefits of a touchscreen POS terminal in comparison to paying with cash is going to make life easier for them in the long run. And when we figure out these little things, it's going to make for a flourishing relationship.
It's important to prepare for any potential hiccups so you can be ready with the appropriate solutions. This is something you can do at the outset of a project, and while it may take some time before you really get to work, it will help you to understand what you should focus your efforts on and sidestep any potential problems throughout your working relationship.
This is especially important with regard to communication. Because if they prefer to speak over the telephone rather than having emails, having the right attitude to gaining information during your initial consultations will make a massive difference. You can tailor your working practices to meet their needs and, in many cases, it could make life easier for you. However, it's about making sure that you don't completely reduce your working methods to the point where you are not productive. Getting the balance right is important, and the right client will always listen to your needs as well.
It's not just about their relationship with you, but their relationship with other freelancers and stakeholders, so you've got to think about the big picture. You could be impatient and send messages constantly, but you've got to be aware of their challenges and what they have on their plate. Looking at it from their perspective can give you a bit more breathing space but also you may be able to help with problems they are experiencing which could result in extra work!
It's such a simple thing but doing what you promised and hitting those deadlines is vital. When you agree to a piece of work, find out the timescale they are working to and remember the importance of honesty and accountability. Life gets in the way, so if we miss our deadline due to something coming up, let them know as soon as possible and they may be more forgiving.
As a freelancer, we've got to learn how to juggle our lives, and as we grow our business we can realize just how important relationships are. And if we want to have amazing relationships with our clients, we've got to make their lives easier.
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