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Do you have a "contact counter?"

Make sure you have a consistent method of keeping in touch with your clients.

August 7th, 2006 • Business Lessons •
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I was driving home the other night and called one of my clients and briefly talked to them. It seems I caught them at a bad time. They were moving that day. I asked the person on the phone if everything was going ok, and he said things were a little hectic because of the move. I was going to drop by, but decided not to. Instead, I offered some assistance with the move, ya know, servers and all. He said it wasn't necessary, but we needed to setup a meeting sometime next week instead of this week.

The point of this is even if you aren't talking to your clients every single day, make sure you are in their thoughts. Get in front of them, in a matter of speaking. They'll always know your there for them.

When you initially start talking to a potential client and land the contract or job, you will naturally be more involved with them as much as possible. After being in high gear for a while during the meat of the project, eventually, things will slow down a bit. The project slows down, people will be taking vacations, whatever the situation, things will slow down.

At this point, use your Contact Manager and jot down the last date that you met/interacted with the client and schedule something in your calendar two weeks from now. Add an alarm to kick off a reminder 1 or 2 days before your call. This will organize your thoughts and prepare you when you call to find out whats been happening with the project.

A general rule of thumb for me is to add 1 week to the last time you met your client and if everything is ok from the last contact, start doubling the time period between calls. For example, if you last met with a client on January 2, 2006, the next time to contact them would be January 9, 2006. After the 9th, if everything was moving smoothly, the next time to contact them would be 2 weeks after the 9th, making it the 22nd and so on and so forth. The maximum time period I set for myself is two months. Every two months, I will contact my clients and find out if everything is ok and ask if they are in need of any other services I offer. When they do need my assistance, I reset my "contact counter" back to one week.

Of course, if you come up with a new marketing strategy or product on how to help your clients even more, then, yes, absolutely calll them when you are ready to release your product/strategy and reset your contact counter.

How often do you keep in touch with your clients? Do you have a personal "contact counter?" Chat back with the Chatterbox below.

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Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "Programming."

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