Tips to manage communication overload

Tags: client communication, client management

A proper communication is one of the most important parts of a good client relationship.  Make a meticulous arrangement of e-mails, phone calls and meeting activities to avoid a daily barrage, as it can slay your productivity and chip away your sanity.  Here are certain tips to make a better client relation.

Use E-mail Rules

Most of the clients are heavily dependent on e-mail.  Try to make a timely e-mail communication, for a better communication with the client. But if the client sends innumerable number of messages filling your inbox, the chances of getting stressed is more as you may find it nightmarish to track the requests, information and other details that are necessary for the project.

The best way to manage this is to set e-mail rules for the clients who are likely to send a lot of messages (multiple rules need to be set for certain clients). Try to maintain a separate folder for saving the e-mails of those clients so that you can differentiate and read the unread messages.

An automatically sorted list of client messages will make your job much easier.  But still the messages have to be read, to collect the information to act soon. You can categorize it according to client, project name and timeline for a hassle free handling of the incoming messages. You can expect wonders soon, as this arrangement will increase the productivity to a great extent and eliminates the stop and go in reading e-mails to a great extent

Manage your IM properly!

Don’t depend too much on your IM system. IM is a good way of client communication, beyond any doubt. But depends on so many factors like the time you are working(when you work during non-traditional hours), a fault in the internet connection, a substitute when you go offline or change your status to not available, on getting a very long IM from the client when you are busy,  forget to log out etc…

An advance scheduling

It’s extremely necessary to have a live contact with the client, either face-to-face or via phone. Most of us usually opt for phone meeting, but try to schedule them regularly with clients, to maintain a steady contact. Also make sure that all meetings are scheduled in advance. Scheduling your calls will prevent interruption of other works and also gives you a chance to properly prepare for the meeting.

 Setting a start time and duration will help to make an effective time management.

Another way is to create a set block of time, as your phone conference time, daily or a few days in a week. Clients can call you during that time and expect you to be available.

Charge Extra

If all else fails, you can charge a premium amount for excessive contact requests by offering an affordable phone/e-mail support plan, as an add-on to your services.

Try to work in detail, each of these tips into your contract. But make it a point to set your boundaries and stick to them.

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