Tips on Treating Clients Right (or Applying the Golden Rule to Your Online Business)

Feb 6, 2012   //   by Chris Help   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  11 Comments

Going one step further than the competition

I’ve heard some people say they got into their online business, be it SEO or copywriting, so they could work from home and not have to interact with people. And every time I hear that, I can’t help but take a step back and think, “That’s stupid.” I mean, sure you may not be dealing face to face with people on a daily basis, but a large part of what you do involves client interaction. You absolutely must know how to work with people in order to succeed in any sort of business venture.

Now having said that, I fully realize that some people who “retreats” to an online job in order to avoid social duties may require a little extra help in respect to client relations. If that describes you, here are a few tips to help you out. Follow them and you’ll be retaining clients and getting referrals in no time.

1. Go the extra mile to fix your mistakes—I’m writing this post today because quite frankly, it’s fresh on my mind. See, I did another post for this blog that I was supposed to schedule for 9 A.M. this morning. But I screwed up and it published overnight. Well, after thinking about it, I decided that it just wasn’t right for me to say “OOPS!” and move on. So instead, I decided to supply the blog with an extra post. And it just so happened to be fitting material. Would Gerald have let me keep posting to his blog if I had simply said “Sorry,” and moved on to next week? More than likely. But hey—I want to make sure I keep my business relationships moving in the right direction. I plan on working with him for a long time. So why not scratch his back?

Update: Gerald ended up not using this post last Monday so it’s getting used this week. That said, I’m still glad I went the extra step and I’m sure he took note. Make a habit of doing business the right way!

2. Deliver as promised (and don’t promise if you can’t deliver)—Sometimes I’m lucky and acquire a project that has a flexible deadline. But more often than not, if a client contacts me then they needed the piece written yesterday. So they ask when is the soonest I can finish for them. I’m always tempted to overcommit in order to secure the project. However, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to give them an honest answer than to promise and not deliver. Nothing makes a client unhappier than having to wait for work that should have already been completed.

3. Keep communication lines open—Again, sometimes you get the low maintenance client that just wants you to send them the finished product and shut the hell up. But always go into a new relationship assuming your client needs his hand held. In other words, give him frequent updates. And ask him if he has any questions (and be ready to answer them). Bottom line—make him feel important.

Have you run into client issues before? What have you done to go the extra mile?

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Chris Help

Chris HELP started his own copywriting agency, HELP! Copy and Design, a few years back as a sort of side project to showcase his passions. But what ended up happening is it snowballed into full-fledged thriving business. So whether you need press releases, SEO articles, or good old fashioned high-conversion copy--he's ready, willing, and more than able.

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  • Kimberly says:

    visit Tradekey and your local chamber of commerce as jdb001 says. Also, you can advertise your products by setting up a shop on eBay. You could do well there if you are a start-up and are prepared to sell in small quantities. And you can link your eBay store to your business website. you from making a connection between your store and your business. Visit blogs and forums of people in the same business and use social networking sites like FaceBook and Twitter.

  • Josh says:

    Great post Chris. All too often people forget the Golden Rule and what applying the Rule means in client relations. Your tips are right on.

    One thing I’d add is use the impulse to over deliver to negotiate with the client to secure a deal. Often clients ask for the world when in fact they might be happy with a small island. So ask lots of questions to find out what is needed and then see what you can deliver. Ideas include timing, phases, and product.

  • Tessa says:

    I totally agree with your point of “Deliver as promised “. And along with, i feel it is better to keep update the client with current work status.

  • laura says:

    A friend of mine used to say: The client is your master. This article is really helpful; it helps me treat “my master” nice :P

  • Catherine says:

    Thank a lot for sharing some tips..Very helpful and useful kind of tips..

  • Gwendolyn says:

    This kind of tips help a lot those who had a business online..Thank you for sharing this..

  • Dave Ventura says:

    Face to face ethics takes modern step in online business, there are various websites that features video call, conference and hangouts (Google +). Through this online business communication comes in reality. Good service not only focus on quality products but also considering good interaction with your customer. Glad to found this post, for sure many would found this informative and relevant.

  • Alex Braker says:

    Yes Chris, you have given nice tips. You should provide all the information to your clients. And as you said, I totally agree with that you have to do the communication with your clients so you can understand the problems of the clients and according to it you can work for them.