How To Make Remote Relationships With Clients Less Impersonal

By Matt Doyle, VP and Co-Founder of Excel Generatorsa truly unique home builder who builds homes that make every day easier.

With modern technology, very little needs to be communicated in person. However, relationships have always been a critical factor in any business. In the face of misunderstandings, misunderstandings and other troubles, a deal can easily fail.

I often run into this problem in my custom home improvement shop. Between the planning meeting and the end of construction, I may only see a client a few times in person. Our relationship may be distant for the most part, so I have to take steps to ensure the client always feels heard and respected.

Here are three strategies you can use, depending on the client’s preferences, to foster better relationships remotely:

1. Choose a form of communication.

It’s good to give your customers more than one way to contact you. However, when you communicate with customers via email, chat apps, and text messages at the same time, important requests can easily go unnoticed.

You can solve this problem by choosing a primary communication channel during the onboarding process. Ask your customers what form of communication they prefer, and make sure to stick to that as much as possible.

This may require some flexibility. Customers can request a form and then choose to ping you on other services. When this happens, roll with their likes, but try to direct them to a service to avoid confusion.

2. Decide early on what is most important to you.

There used to be a lot more time to find out what was most important to the customer. Now that there are far fewer face-to-face meetings, it’s important to get to the point as early as possible.

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Your first onboarding meeting with your client should cover their motivations and top priorities. For example, in my shop, clients may care more about getting the house finished on time than receiving all the items affected by delays.

Asking these questions when you first meet can help you get your electronic communications right for the rest of the relationship. Electronic messages that address specific needs feel a lot less impersonal.

3. Make face-to-face meetings more interesting.

You may have few opportunities to meet your client while working together. These crucial opportunities to make an impression should not be wasted. Consider moving your meetings to friendlier environments than an office conference room.

For example, you could hold your face-to-face meetings in restaurants, cafes, taverns or recreational facilities (e.g. golf courses). Where you meet should depend heavily on your client’s needs.

Another option is to let the customer choose the meeting point. They may feel much more comfortable in a space they already know.

Conclusion

Communicating remotely with your customers doesn’t have to feel impersonal. With a few minor changes to your policies, you can build stronger relationships in the time you have.

Choose a form of communication so that electronic conversations are well organized and accessible. Identify what matters most to them early on so future electronic messages can meet their needs. Finally make the most of the limited options you have for meetings. Turn them into occasions that are entertaining and reassuring for your customers.

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