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Business Education / Communication

Three Rules to Better Client Communication

Client communication seems like the easiest thing to master in business, right? But, is it really? 

Today’s fast-paced society and need for instant gratification has made communicating with clients more difficult. You’ve probably found that clients are more reluctant to read long emails or have long phone conversations. With their busy schedules, they also don’t fully process or remember what was agreed on or said about your project. Many times they just take in the highlights and quickly forget the details.

Unfortunately, this behavior leaves you answering more emails or phone calls because your clients don’t know what to do next.

So how do you go about communicating better with your clients in a way that gets all your important information across? 

The Three Rules of Communication

Our friend and business coach, Michael Gerber, author of, in my opinion one of the most brilliant business books, The E-Myth, was the one that introduced the following three words to me. And, since then, those three words have become the communication rules I live by. 

  • Bite-sized.
  • Timely.
  • Relevant. 

Whether you’re composing emails or preparing for a phone call, think to yourself is this communication bite-sized, timely and relevant? If not, stop what you’re doing and adjust. By checking your communication to the rule, you are ensuring you will not be overwhelming, over-worded, or over-aggressive. 

Bite-sized Client Communication

Lengthy is not ‘in’! With the introduction of social media platforms, your clients have been groomed to glaze over no more than 280 characters. So, it’s better to have more frequent communications that are smaller (and at relevant times) than one long email that states everything at once.

If you need to write a longer email, break it up into short paragraphs and use bullets or numbering to help move your client through the content. 

Timely Client Communication

Timing is important. Some people say timing is everything! So knowing when to communicate plays a huge role in effectiveness and experience. Emails sent too early, feel irrelevant to your client and they’ll write it off as “I’ll read that later”. However, emails sent too late create stress and a bad client experience. 

Here’s an example: You are completing a service for a client, and one day before the service you send an email listing out all the things they need to do to prepare. While the intention is to help your client, you created added stress instead because of the timing of your email.

With your client’s busy schedule now they have to fit their prep time in too. While you probably told them about this step at the beginning, they more than likely didn’t remember as it wasn’t relevant to them at that time you told them.

The solution: A better way to communicate information about preparations would be to send the prep email around four or five days before with an added reminder email the day before the event or meeting. By keeping your communications timely, you create a better experience. 

Timely emails also help reduce the number of questions you have coming your way. Clients tend to get antsy and filled with questions when they feel like they are forgetting something or are not sure of what to do. By making sure you have timely communications, you will cut down on your workload and provide a better client experience. 

Relevant Client Communication

Is this something your client needs to know now?

It is always a good idea to make sure your client understands your process from the beginning. But, they don’t need to know every detail from the start. When a piece of communication isn’t relevant to the stage in the client experience, it creates an overwhelming experience. 

This is especially true with your lead experience. When you overwhelm your lead, you lose them because things become difficult and confusing. 

Here’s an example: This are too many questions on your Lead Capture Form. Your Lead Capture Form is a form of communication. And, by asking too many questions that aren’t relevant to the ‘getting to know each other stage’ in the relationship, your potential client will see it as a commitment. This sense of commitment can create a feeling of doubt and you might lose the lead all together. 

Irrelevant communication can also cause stress. If you are in the wedding industry and a bride books you. Then you send her a Questionnaire 9 months in advance of the wedding date asking for all her vendors. Yikes, she is going to start stressing and double-guessing herself. “I’m supposed to have all these booked now?” “Am I running behind?”

Oh, and, if you are thinking, “I’ll send it to her now, but tell her to fill it out closer to her wedding date.” You are still creating stress for your bride. It’s just another thing she has to remember to do. A worry in the back of her mind. 

The solution: Send that Questionnaire one month prior to the wedding when all the vendors are booked and she could easily answer all your questions. This is going to create a more pleasing experience for her and your business.

Bite-sized, Timely & Relevant

Great client communication is the foundation for a stellar client experience. Focusing on your communication can even help you be referred more. By measuring all your communication to these three words you will create a smoother experience for your clients.

While it seems like a lot to do, it really is effortless when you utilize the automation in a workflow in 17hats. The workflow can send your emails and questionnaires for you on a proper timeline; therefore ensuring a great experience and communication flow.