When communicating with clients or other non-technical people, it’s easy to slip into the habits formed when communicating with other technical people. The result is that the client is often lost and confused and may not be able to make educated decisions. This article will provide a few pointers to communicating with non-technical clients in an effective and efficient manner. Remember, if you take the time to speak to them on a level they can follow, you will foster client loyalty, especially in cases where your competitors have not bothered to explain technical terms and concepts to the clients.
Patience is a Virtue
One of the most important things you can do is be patient. Remember, you have likely been using technical terms and exploring technical concepts for a number of years; your client may have never encountered anything more technical than a simple throwaway email address. Be patient, don’t lose your temper, and take the time to underscore important points. Your clients will appreciate your effort and it could very well lead to referrals in the future.
Act as Their Teacher
After you have put together a client website and are ready to hand over its operation to your client you should take the time to explain to them how the website works and what options they have on various aspects of website maintenance and development.
Education is key. If the client knows nothing about how WordPress works he or she may just shrug, write you a check for your fee, and go on down the road. On the other hand, if you instill even a small amount of technical knowledge and understanding the client will appreciate your work more and will be more likely to refer you to his or her colleagues.
If you simply don’t have the time to educate each client on a personal basis, consider developing some sort of tutorial or FAQ sheet to address the most common features of WordPress. This small step alone should answer most of the simple questions a client may have.
Do Some Mentoring
Some clients have just enough technical know-how to be dangerous. They may think that they know more than they do; or they may know just enough to feel like they can (and should) micromanage your work. At first clients like this may seem troublesome; however, they are often eager to learn and will eventually give you high marks when they review or recommend you to others.
A great way to handle these clients is to assign them some menial task they can perform. That way they feel like they are contributing and you are freed from their interference so you can actually do the work they hired you to do.
Although you are conversant using technical terms, chances are your client is not. When explaining things to him or her, be sure that you are using understandable language. This step alone will help your client feel like you care about keeping him or her informed and will increase client satisfaction.
By taking a little bit of extra time to speak on a level your client can understand and putting in the effort to educate him or her you will increase your chances of a happy client and more referrals down the line.