client communication blog feature

Client Communication Best Practices to Improve Relationships

Communication is key whether you’re establishing a business relationship with a new client or working with a returning customer. Good communication lays the groundwork for effective projects and services, as well as a healthy back-and-forth that drives business to new heights.

But communicating well is easier said than done, particularly if you and the client don’t have the same communication style or process. 👀

A client asks for a service to be reconfigured but doesn’t say what they want to see changed. Maybe they don’t respond to requests for feedback at all. Perhaps they offer vague requests without clarifying their expectations.

Luckily, there are simple ways to create better client communication. 🙌

In this guide, we’ll explain why having a good client communication strategy is important and share best practices for your processes. Plus, we’ll go through a case study that demonstrates how these techniques make your business more effective.

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What is Client Communication?

Client communication is every interaction between a company and a client. It encompasses verbal and written communication, from emails and phone calls.

Reports, invoices, and legal contracts are some examples of critical client communication. But interpersonal exchanges like business lunches and quarterly meetings are also key examples. Client communication starts from the moment you start approaching a potential client.

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Good client communication relies on excellent interpersonal skills, organizational skills, self-awareness, and adaptability. These skills are essential for powering good relationships and navigating tricky situations as they arise. ✨

Why is effective client communication important to business relationships?

As a client-facing professional, communicating well is essential. Whether you’re in sales and in charge of closing the deal or an account manager handling a respected client, knowing how to communicate can make or break your goals. 🏆

Here are a few reasons why client communication is so important:

  • Limits misunderstandings: Reduce the risk of poor client communication and confusion that may derail a project
  • Builds trust: Effective communication creates rapport and reassures the client that you have their best interests at hand
  • Establishes expectations: One of the main reasons projects fail is because there aren’t clear expectations. Good communication makes sure everyone knows the goal and what it takes to get there
  • Keeps projects on track: Disorganization and roadblocks also throw off a project’s schedule. Keep everyone on the same page with good communication, which also allows for adaptability when a wrench gets thrown into the plans
  • Improves customer retention: Clients who feel heard tend to be happier. Communicating well with clients lets them know you hear their frustrations, understand their goals, and are implementing processes to make them happen
  • Leads to better adaptability: By communicating better with clients, you also adapt to changing environments more quickly than the competition. Clients let you know what features they want and call out areas for improvement, so you don’t waste time and resources on unwanted efforts
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9 Simple Client Communication Tips to Keep in Mind

Here, we’ll share some best ways to improve client communication. From in-person meetings to regular digital updates, use them to build better client relationships and drive your business forward. 🎯

1. Strengthen client engagement with a tailored communication plan

With client communication tools, there’s less chance for miscommunications and better alignment from start to finish. A client communication plan lets you identify key stakeholders, decide what to communicate to each one, and determine how often you’ll share updates with them.

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Delegate Custom Roles to other admin-based roles or external clients In ClickUp to keep specific work private

Start by establishing your communication goals and identifying clients. Next, decide which channels and methods you’ll use: social media updates, text messages, phone calls, or in-person meetings, depending on the client’s preferences.

Finally, monitor your communication plan and make changes as needed. Be sure to listen to client feedback and implement changes if they want communications delivered differently.

A great client communication software lets you segment different clients based on how they prefer to get updates and how frequently you need to keep them in the loop.

Client communication: ClickUp's Communication Plan Template
Use ClickUp’s many formatting tools to organize communication objectives, goals, timelines, and stakeholders

With the ClickUp Communication Plan Template, you can create a hierarchy of stakeholders and identify how you’ll share information promptly. Build your project communication strategy with clients and determine custom roles, access and permissions, and anything else that may need to be public or private.

2. Define measurable goals that align with your client’s needs and your business objectives

Communications should have clear objectives. Whether that’s keeping the client informed about changes along the way or getting insights to develop better products, set clear goals from the beginning. ✍️

Client communication: tracking clients' goals using ClickUp
Stay on track to hit your goals and your clients with clear timelines, measurable targets, and automatic progress-tracking

Use ClickUp Goals to set measurable targets, track milestones, and stick to clear timelines. Create Custom Fields for different client communication strategies and assign statuses to track progress for each one. 

Set priorities to highlight the most pressing communications and set up notifications so you never miss an important update.

3. Communicate often and transparently to keep your client informed and engaged

One of the keys to customer satisfaction is transparency and clear expectations. From onboarding to the end project phase, be upfront regarding things like pricing and offers. 

This lets you build trust and set client expectations early on. Clearly explain your workflows and how your products or services will serve the client. 

Answer client questions clearly and honestly. Now is not the time for over-the-top predictions or promises.

Client communication: ClickUp Docs Task Mentions
Use ClickUp Docs to keep clients and team members in the loop with instant notifications

Use project management software like ClickUp to communicate with clients and update them on the process.

ClickUp’s comments and mentions send instant notifications when new discussions are shared or when you tag them in a task. 

4. Practice active listening to guide meaningful conversations

One of the best communication skills is active listening, meaning you don’t just hear what a client says. Instead, you pay attention to body language and social cues and focus on the goal of finding solutions and improving the customer journey.

That means listening to the client’s perspective and tuning into the client’s needs. To do this, ask open-ended questions so the client can provide as much detail as possible. 

Focus on getting to the root of the issue and how the client feels. During the discussion, be present—turn off all potential distractions—pay attention to non-verbal cues, and restate what the client has shared to ensure you understand what they’re saying. 💡

5. Implement team training to deliver a consistent client experience

Client communications are only effective if they’re practised across the board. From software development and customer support to account management, implement clear communication strategies in your training and onboarding procedures. 🛠️

Provide training for all team members and create clear communication plans for each service provider in your business. Be sure to double-check your processes and get feedback from your employees and clients to improve the procedures.

Here are some ideas for client communication training:

  • Practice role-playing: Have team members take turns playing the client and work through a real-life situation. Cover common problems like customers that ask tons of questions or a situation where the client is upset with deliverables
  • Use the LAST Method: This acronym stands for Listen, Acknowledge, Solve, and Thanks, a method that trains employees to use a step-by-step process when dealing with an unsatisfied client
  • Build mentorship programs: For new hires, handling a tricky situation can be intimidating. Pair the employee up with a mentor or buddy to help them navigate the process
Client communication: ClickUp's Decision Tree Whiteboard
Build decision trees in ClickUp Whiteboards to walk team members through client communication steps

6. Manage expectations and build connections to nurture lasting relationships

In business, we tend to keep things professional, but you may miss out on better communication when you don’t connect emotionally with clients. Instead, use key communication methods to connect with your clients more deeply. 

Build connections with your clients by putting yourself in their shoes. Imagine what they expect from you and deliver results that meet their specific needs. Build rapport by checking in and having light-hearted moments when appropriate. 🤝

A key component of emotional connections is having self-awareness and understanding your reactions. If the client delivers harsh feedback, consider your tone of voice and adjust facial expressions that may escalate the conversation.

Emotional intelligence also helps you react to an unhappy client. Develop client communication skills that defuse a tense situation and streamline client management.

Related: How to Professionally Ask for Payments From a Client

7. Be considerate of the client’s time by being efficient and responsive

Timing is everything when it comes to client communications. Early on, clients may want frequent updates to ensure everything goes according to plan. Other long-term clients or busy professionals may want updates less often.

Talk to the client to determine how often they’d like to communicate and decide on the best communication channels. Verbal communication, like phone calls, maybe more intrusive for some clients than automated email communications. 📧

Setting recurring tasks in ClickUp
Set recurring tasks for client communications to keep your outreach organized and efficient

Another convenient way to streamline client communications is to use ClickUp tasks. Set up recurring tasks to alert you when it’s time to send out client communications 

ClickUp also allows you to trigger notifications once a task is completed. That way, a client will get an email when an important milestone is reached.

8. Collect and organize client data in a CRM 

Client communication often falls apart because contact information is not updated or stored in one easy place. Streamline your workflows using spreadsheets in ClickUp to store all the important contact information for each client.

Adding a table view in ClickUp Docs
Add a spreadsheet with your client’s information to any Clickup Doc using Table View so you don’t miss a beat

Be sure to include phone numbers, email addresses, and the client’s preferred contact method. Share the sheet with new hires and store it in your project Spaces to make it accessible for the team members that need it. 

9. Automate action items to follow up on client feedback and requests

It’s not enough to just lay the groundwork for effective client communications. You also need to build a process for the next steps to implement the feedback you receive. 

Plan for the future by automatically creating tasks to follow up on client feedback and implement new solutions.

Organizing ClickUp's Active Deals
Improve your team’s client communication practices and workflows with ClickUp Automations

There might not be a clear way forward, which is why it’s important to have brainstorming processes in place. ClickUp’s Mind Maps helps employees organize their ideas and develop solutions for client issues.

Use the Mind Maps for brainstorming and create workflows based on your ideas. Automatically assign tasks to relevant team members and be sure to include a step for updating the client. 👨🏽‍💻

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A Helpful Client Communication Example to Improve Your Processes

These techniques seem easy, but how do they work when they’re put into practice? 

Here’s a client communication example that shows these elements in action. We’ll take a look at how marketing agency V4 Company used client management tools in ClickUp to improve their customer relationships. 🌱

The problem

V4 is a marketing firm that works with clients to help them sell products online. With more than 5,000 clients across 200 offices, communication is critical for success. 

However, communications started to fall through the cracks as they scaled their successful business with clients like Spotify and XP Inc.. 

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Create Custom Automations that fire based on Triggers and Conditions of your choosing in ClickUp

The problem wasn’t just that communications were being missed. The company also had to send out the same information repeatedly, wasting time and resources on busy work. 

The solutions

That’s when the V4 team turned to ClickUp. They leveraged ClickUp Automations to speed up client correspondence and reduce busy work by triggering weekly updates for different clients based on project status.

They also decided to share Gantt charts via WhatsApp weekly so the client’s team could see if any deliverables were missed and follow up on progress. That meant a better client experience and more upfront accountability.

Project Milestones in ClickUp Gantt View
Transform your most important tasks into milestones to create a Gantt chart showing the progress made in your projects

V4 also liked that they could grant access to project plans in ClickUp. They could decide what clients could see and collaborate on, making monitoring a more transparent process for their customer base.

V4 also used ClickUp’s Templates to streamline communications and make them more efficient. V4 used communication matrices to identify the biggest stakeholders. That way, they could prioritize who to update and how often.

They also leveraged communication plan templates to keep track of dozens of client communications. This made it easy to see which clients needed more frequent updates and ensured they never missed a critical communication.💡

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Build Effective Client Communication With ClickUp

Whether you’re delivering bad news or sharing exciting updates on a project, client communication is key to success. With these best practices, you can streamline workflows and help your employees communicate effectively.

Sign up for ClickUp today and start building better relationships with your clients. Start by creating a communication plan with clear goals and then decide how you want to keep each customer updated. 🤩

Use templates to draft recurring updates and set up automations to make your workflow smoother. Set tasks to update clients on the latest developments and add custom fields so they see the information they need. 

With ClickUp, client communications are easier and more effective than ever before. 

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