Tips for Workshops To Improve Client Communications

Something that comes as a surprise to many workshop owners is the enormous role that client communications have in business success. It’s not enough to produce attractive products or perform high-quality work; workshops must also build strong relationships with their customers if they want to enjoy a good reputation. How can business owners and employees get better at communicating with clients?

Choose a Primary Method To Communicate

Telling customers to call if they have questions or concerns isn’t sufficient. Workshop managers need to take the initiative to build a direct line of communication with customers. This step provides benefits for the business and improves client satisfaction at the same time.

The risk of leaving things to chance is that teams may miss important customer requests or requirements. What if the business mainly looks at phone calls but clients prefer using email or text messages?

The only way for everyone to start the project on the same page is to agree ahead of time on the chosen communication platform. Calls, emails, texts or face-to-face conversations are all possibilities, but workshops need to nail down one primary avenue for each client.

Track Client Communications

Another essential part of good customer service involves actively listening to clients. This means keeping track of the original order, feedback, add-on requests, proposals and surprises.

When clients feel assured that a workshop is listening to them, they’re happier. When workshops keep track of communications, projects feel truly customized to client expectations.

How is this level of interaction possible when workshop teams may consist of many different workers or managers? Choosing the right business management software can help. A platform such as Powder Coat 360 can help workshops keep all of their customer communications in the same place, organized by client. That way, teams can effortlessly see and send client messages alongside all project documents and proposals.

Have a Dedicated Contact for Customers

Sometimes, problems arise because team members inadvertently pass the buck to other employees. Each one may think the other already spoke with customers, when the reality is that no one has contacted the client. Making mistakes is human nature, but communication errors can still result in wasted time and unhappy clients.

Where possible, assign a specific person to communicate with clients. This isn’t always possible for small projects, but for larger orders or complex projects, it’s a must.

Having a dedicated contact ensures clients don’t get overlooked in the shuffle, and it can also make for a better overall customer experience. As clients interact with their project manager, it often creates a deeper relationship than communications on a brand level only. Happy clients are more likely to return or recommend the workshop to friends and family.

Ask and Answer Questions

Much time can be saved when workshop contacts are good communicators. Two skills are vital: listening and asking questions. Both can produce benefits for projects and customer satisfaction.

The Value of Listening

 When workshop owners or managers carefully listen to clients, projects are more likely to meet customer requests successfully. Understanding what a client wants doesn’t always mean following their instructions to the letter. Sometimes, what the customer asks for isn’t what they really “want,” especially when it comes to industry jargon that clients may not completely understand.

When clients ask a question, take the time to patiently answer. Don’t rush. Make it clear that questions are a good thing.

The Importance of Asking Questions

Workshops can also get better overall results if project managers know when to ask questions of their own. For example, if customer instructions are overly broad, workshops can end up wasting significant time later on with tweaks and changes. It’s better to go into a project with some clear guidelines from the beginning.

After receiving the initial communication from clients, workshop managers should prepare a few follow-up questions for clarification. Something like, “When you say you want X, are you looking for…?” or “Which of these options sounds closest to what you’re picturing?” When workshops have a good communication platform in place, getting clarification may only take a few minutes or hours.

Encouraging good customer communication is smart. Projects aren’t just a reflection of the workshop’s hard work. They should be more like a collaboration between customers and businesses.

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