A Guide to What Clients Want and How To Deliver on It

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Clients all want the same thing and this is how to deliver on these common needs/wants.

Not all clients can be pleased. Now that we have cleared that up, we can dive into the investigation of what clients who can be pleased want.

Clients come in all shapes and sizes when it comes to things they expect, want and need.

Demanding clients can test the patience of a company but also help push the company to produce extremely high-quality work. Clients that give the reigns to a company allow a company to be creative or to use a strategy that they think is best.

Finally, there are the clients who think they know what they want and those who do not even know where to begin. Regardless of what client you run into they will want one of the following things below.

Related Article:6 Signs A Customer Is Not Worth It

Vital Information Kept Safe

Before computers, the most important things to keep safe in the office were your client’s files that contained vital information. Now in the digital age keeping physical files safe is important but keeping digital information safe is ever more important. Data breaches happen on a daily basis and have happened to some of the largest companies in the world.

TalkTalk lost 100,000 subscribers and a staggering 95,000 of these were directly impacted by the hacks that occurred. One thing clients/customers do not tolerate is their information being leaked so one instance of this can end even the strongest business relationships.

  • Educate staff about information to keep safe and places to avoid on their company computer.
  • Keep access to client information limited to those who need to have logins to access it.
  • Change passwords after any employee is let go or quits.
  • Use a VPN network to keep everything as secure as possible.

Communication

Great communication with a client depends on what the client desires out of your company. Some clients just want the work done with minimal communication while others want to be very involved in your processes.

  • Establish communication needs from the beginning as this can be referred to if communication comes up in a list of things your company can do better. Clients often point to communication if they didn’t give proper instructions or have made a mistake themselves.
  • Milestones for complicated projects eliminate the chances of a complete overhaul being needed. Web design is a great example of this as a complete overhaul might take weeks while a few tweak at each milestone will help you deliver the quality of work that your client expects.
  • If there is something you were explaining to the client about a new product or shift in strategy then you stumble across an article discussing it, send it over as they will appreciate this. For example, a locksmith could send you to the FAQ section with questions like “Should I change all of my locks when keys are stolen?” In the case of an SEO company, they would send an article from Search Engine Journal or Guy Kawasaki’s blog.

Related Article: Customers First: 5 Customer Service Skills Every Employee Must Have

Deadlines Hit

Nothing irks a client more than deadlines being missed. Clients have someone to answer to as well. This might boil down to communication but it definitely also comes down to accountability. A client that delays approving a part of a project a few weeks then expects the same delivery time should be made aware they have deadlines to hit as well. The following are great ways to hit deadlines and modify them if they can’t be hit.

  • For businesses that specialize in web design, an auto approve clause should be put in the contract. Large corporations can delay projects months for approval so they should be given a deadline to approve or ask for revisions to keep the project on track.
  • Build in a week or two into the schedule for the deadline so if any emergencies happen then your business has this grace period.
  • Let clients know if deadlines cannot be possibly hit and don’t just allow them to think they are. Some do this to get a contract signed but for customer retention, this is a nightmare.

Honesty

This might seem obvious to many in the business world but there are those who just cannot tell a client no. If they are asked if they can do a project, many contractors especially will not deny the work even if they cannot complete it at a high level.

  • Try not to branch out if you haven’t offered a service before. This can ruin a relationship that is based on trust and lead the customer to end their contract with your other services.
  • Don’t just agree to accept a campaign or order before talking to the production team. Some things simply cannot be done and an executive or salesperson that does not have a hold on what the production team can handle can ruin a corporate reputation.
  • Employ those who are not afraid to say no to a client. "Yes people" can end up making the company look bad. Obviously campaign managers or client management staff have to say yes quite frequently but cannot be afraid to disagree or say no to a client.

Related Article: The New Differentiator: Why Customer Experience Should Be Your Top Priority

As you can see it is simple what clients want for the most part and delivering on these five things can help increase the chances that you have a happy client. While you won’t be able to please all clients, this should take care of those that can be pleased. Find out what your client wants/needs out of their relationship with your company and deliver.

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