We’ve all been there. Your working on a project and you send off a quick email requesting some very important, but basic information from a client. And then 2 weeks later you might get a response. But that whole time you were stuck just sitting on a project with no progress being made on the project at all.
Unresponsive clients can be a huge problem as they affect the efficiency of your company and often end up wasting valuable time and resources. And the worst part is that they often make your company look slow and unproductive, which is definitely not a reputation you want to have, especially if you're a small business growing your reputation.
Here are tips to help you deal with unresponsive clients effectively:
1. Set Expectations Beforehand
Before doing business with anyone, it is important that you set expectations for communication before you start working on a project. If a client wants something done by a specific deadline, outline exactly what you will need from them to make that deadline. Plus, you never want to bombard a client with requests after you’ve agreed to do a project for them.
Yes, there’s usually going to be unforeseen information you might need from a client, but try to be as forward thinking as possible when it comes to your project management.
2. Be In Tune With the Right Form of Communication
Just because you prefer to pick up a phone and talk about something, doesn’t mean your client does. Figure out the best way to communicate with a person, whether its email, phone calls, text message, or even a tweet! Usually people have a favorite way to communicate, so learn what that way is for each client. And use it to your advantage.
3. Learn the Art of Followup
Okay, so you’ve reached out to a client for something through their favorite form of communication, and still you’ve heard nothing. Now its time for the follow up. This may be the point where you need to switch your form of communication. If your email didn’t work, maybe your client needs a phone call. If they responded to your first communication, just ask for a progress update and for a specific date to expect to hear back.
4. Sometimes You Have to Say “No”.
Unless you’re just desperate for the revenue coming in from a particular client, sometimes there comes a point where you have to issue an ultimatum. If a client is totally unresponsive to your needs for months on end (and this has happened), they are not holding up their end of the deal. And who wants a client like that? Just remember to be fair, and patient with your clients before going to this ultimatum. Sometimes there are circumstances out of everyones control. Life happens!
Dealing with unresponsive clients can be frustrating, but we all have to do it at some point or another. Being understanding of their situation is key, but also having a strategy for handling unresponsiveness is important to ensure your business is able to continue running effectively based on long lasting customer relationships. And always remember to check yourself first! Make sure your not really the problem, especially if this is a repeating circumstance.