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Tips for success
How to communicate effectively with clients

How to communicate effectively with clients

Do your clients have unrealistic expectations about the price of your services? Are they constantly watching over you, instructing you on how to do your job? Or maybe you aren’t even getting to that point and feel people never choose you for their projects?

Remove fears about your work, the costs, and whether you will show up as promised to make clients happier.

Happy clients win you more work. They are also more forgiving if things don't go according to plan.

1. Take the initiative

People are tired of Pros they can’t get a hold of.

Make the first contact and answer every call, every time. Call back within the hour if you can’t.

Hi Grace, I am calling you because you made a request for a carport. I am a certified installer with 15 years of experience. You can see my business reviews on Procompare…
Analogue alarm clock with the words "Tomorrow", "Next day", "Later" besides it.

Answer all your emails in 24 hours. Apply the same standards for returning messages on Whatsapp or responding to leads on a website like Procompare.

I sent you the specifications and estimation prices for different carports on WhatsApp. Let me know when you check them so that we can discuss the next steps.

Expect what your customer needs and deliver it in advance. Provide clients with well-thought out solutions, not just problems.

2. Learn to listen

Stop everything and give people your full attention. Don’t interrupt the speaker.

You should never force the client to talk fast because you are busy. Show that you are paying attention by adding small comments like “Yes” or “I understand".

You are not sure whether you need a shade net or a solid roof carport. Got it.

Repeat back what the client just told you to check your understanding.

An African man listens to someone on a mobile phone.

Use open-ended questions that start with “What” or “How” to clarify. You will get more information and encourage the client to share.

What will you keep under the carport? What size are your vehicles? How much protection do you need for them?

Take notes, especially for complicated projects. Take advantage of your phone’s planner and note-taking apps like Todoist.

3. Establish clear expectations

Tell customers you intend to communicate often with them right away. Describe what you will do and when.

Don’t put out as much information as possible at once. But don’t answer with single words or cryptic texts either.

You don’t live in a rainy or windy area. Nothing will fall on your car. You have to shield it from the sun, so a carport with a shade net should be enough. I can install it on Friday.

Explain complicated or technical issues with analogies. Avoid jargon.

"What to expect?" written in a notebook.

If the person doesn’t understand you, start over in smaller, slower steps.

Give a detailed quote. Don't leave anything unsaid. If maintenance is not in the price, you should make that clear.

The total cost is R7000. The price doesn’t include the area preparation, and the ground must be firm and flat. I will call you tomorrow so you can tell me your decision, ok?

Make sure that you’re both on the same page before and during the project.

4. Keep clients in control

Don’t let the customers chase you. Let them know when you are coming and how the job is progressing.

For one day jobs, a message the night before is enough. For larger projects, agree on a timeline and give regular updates, followed by what your next step will be.

If you encounter problems, tell the client immediately. Resolve any disputes as soon as possible.

A woman talking on a mobile phone. Orange background.

Notify them even about something small like running a few minutes late.

I am calling to confirm our arrangement for tomorrow. I have to pick up the material first and can be at your place at 10 AM. Is that ok with you?

If you agree to something on the phone that will increase the costs, send it to the customer back in writing.

Don’t proceed with anything until you have approval from the customer.