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How to Manage Long-Distance Client Relationships

Today, a client may be right around the corner or located on the other side of the world. Thanks to new innovations in technology, many companies are interacting with their clients through several different communication channels.

The following tips will help you create strong connections with prospects and maintain a personal connection with your current clients—no matter their locations.

Emails

Even if your clients are miles away, it’s important to continue a constant dialogue. Thankfully, the internet makes it much easier to stay in touch with long-distance clients. Just click the send button and you can share an interesting article or an e-card. A monthly or quarterly e-newsletter also helps keep clients aware of new trends and other important news.

Online Meetings

Don’t neglect the value of face-to-face communications. Online meeting tools make it easy to interact with your clients through video conferencing. Whether it’s a scheduled meeting with a large group of people, or a small brainstorming session, the right online meeting tool will help increase productivity while you bond with your clients.

Remain Highly Responsive

A good practice for any service professional is to check your caller ID each morning. A client may have called but not left a message. Returning that call the next day demonstrates your attention to their needs. Promptly answering emails and voicemails is also good business practice. Inform clients well in advance if you will be out of the office for more than a day or two and provide an alternate contact for that period.

Celebrate Milestones

Whether it’s an anniversary or the completion of a major deliverable, celebrating milestones with clients help build relationships and keeps momentum going. It can be difficult for both clients and workers to remain motivated when it comes to complex projects with long timelines. Breaking the project down into smaller pieces is not only good project management, but also provides the opportunity to celebrate when a milestone is reached.

Upon completion of the deliverable, consider sending a gift basket to the staff in the office and ordering the same basket for the client’s office. Share photos of both partners enjoying the celebration. Also, don’t neglect anniversaries with long-distance clients. Consider setting up a virtual meeting on a five-year anniversary of working together and have a virtual toast to the success you have generated.

As geographic barriers to business are broken, clients are given the opportunity to work with the best from around the world. This poses both a challenge and an opportunity. While widening the talent pool, it also creates a much more competitive market. What will separate your business from all the rest? Excellent management of long-distance relationships may be the answer.

To make sure you are aware of all today’s hottest collaboration tools, download our free eBook: The Future of Business Collaboration.   

About Lorna Love

Originally from Florida, Lorna moved to Atlanta to join the PGi team. In between trying to get used to Atlanta traffic and the crazy weather, she spends her free time playing with her dog, Mylo. Lorna enjoys writing about online collaboration tools and meeting tips.

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