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One of the most important aspects of freelancing is client care. How you interact with others is vital to your success. This is especially true in today’s socially connected, online world. And how you engage clients will dictate whether or not you get future work.
The last thing you want is a client telling others he or she knows that you are not worth the trouble. Word of mouth is quite damaging when someone has a negative experience.
6 Ways to Offer the Best Client Care
Don’t think of client care as a way of kissing butt. You can offer respect without becoming a “yes” man or woman.
It’s all about offering a superior customer experience.
1. Always Be Professional
Approach every client with a sense of professionalism. You don’t want to be conceited regarding your abilities, but you do want a certain air of confidence.
Think of it this way, how do you like to be treated at a restaurant by your waiter or waitress? Do you want them chewing gum and asking, “What do ya want” without making eye contact?
First impressions are vastly important, and you want the client happy they chose you instead of the millions of other freelancers on the Internet.
Always offer a professional attitude, even if the client is negative. You’ll undoubtedly come across a few bad apples throughout your career. And even though you would love to unload a slew of euphemisms, brace yourself.
Develop a bit of a thick skin. You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Just move on and keep your composure.
When I engage a negative client, I always tell them to “have a nice day” and then put their email address or account profile on a black list.
2. Be Understanding
Not all clients will have your background in writing or search engine optimization. What they think of as a good idea may actually hurt their project. Don’t assume the client is stupid, but realize his or her experience probably isn’t as fine-tuned as your own.
Another aspect to working content mills is the variety of clients you’ll get from around the world. Not all of them are going to speak your language fluently.
Try your best to understand what he or she needs while helping them learn the language without being sarcastic or rude.
3. Provide Exactly What the Client Wants
Clients have a specific need they want addressed. And it’s your job to see they get what they’re paying for. Otherwise, the client can easily find another writer.
Sometimes the instructions will be confusing, or perhaps not even make sense in the grand scheme of things. Even if you think there is a better way, always give the client exactly what he or she asks for.
This includes following directions to the letter. If the client wants a certain keyword in the article every 10 words, then that is what you need to give. This is poor SEO practice, but it’s what the client wants.
And if you have questions or concerns, always ask. Never assume your changes or modifications are welcome. Many clients are open to suggestion and may change what they want according to your input.
However, you need to discuss those elements directly with the client before you implement them.
In this instance, it’s better to ask for permission rather than forgiveness.
4. Offer Clear and Concise Communication
Always offer clear forms of communication. Have an open dialog between yourself and the client. When you’re using systems like Textbroker, always send greetings and informational messages.
Perhaps you need clarification for part of the instructions.
This is helpful for two reasons: a) it shows the client you’re interested in working with him or her; and b) it demonstrates professionalism, which impresses the client.
In fact, I’ve secured semi-regular direct order clients by interacting with people in the open pool for orders. It helps improve income as well as daily productivity.
So instead of simply completing one job in Textbroker, you could score a contract that sends you multiple orders every day.
When communicating, always offer a friendly tone. This often includes dealing with negative clients. Be professional and block future communications with an aggressive client.
I’ve blocked quite a few problematic people. It’s really not worth the stress, and it’s just as easy to find another.
5. Send Follow-up Messages
Part of having strong communication skills is sending follow-up messages. Client care often includes making sure people are happy with your work and letting them know you’re still available.
It keeps you fresh in mind months down the road.
I’ve had a couple of clients come back to me as much as six months later because I sent follow-up messages.
Just make sure you don’t over do it. There’s a difference between a simple follow-up message and getting annoying. One follow-up should be more than enough.
Appearing desperate isn’t a very professional way of getting future work. It’s often viewed as a turn-off, and the client may choose to go with someone else.
6. Never Hold Ratings or Work “Hostage”
One of the most unprofessional things you can do as a freelance writer is hold ratings or work hostage unless the client gives you a stellar review.
I know…most of us think this is absurd.
My current retainer had a problem with a writer who offered to finish the project if she gave him a five-star rating on Fiverr. And this was before she had a chance to view his work in total.
The client is paying you for specific work. If you finish the project, then let your skill influence the rating. Don’t hold it over someone’s head.
That’s called extortion.
And it’s a surefire way to never see that particular client ever again.
I can say the writer lost out on a huge prospect of making some good money. All because he wanted to be greedy about his rating on Fiverr, he lost out on tens of thousands of dollars worth of content writing.
Each to their own, I suppose.
Long Term Clients are Often Better
Too many writers look for the quick payout rather than the big picture. If you can secure a long-term client, you make it easier on yourself to pay the bills. Offering superior client care goes a long way to making sure you always have work.
Regardless of the job, always focus on taking care of those willing to pay for your services.