How to Create and Maintain an Effective Client Communication Cycle

Establishing and maintaining an effective client communication cycle is one of the most important things you can do for your business. 

Why? Because it keeps things clear from the start (which means both you and your client are aware of the scope and won’t try to overstep), it streamlines the communication process by keeping things open and polite, and – most importantly – it keeps clients happy and coming back for more.

(And, in some cases, it also leads to referrals!)

But, you might be wondering, what’s all this about a “client communication cycle”? And where do I start planning one? No worries! You know we’re here for ya!

Buckle up, grab pen & paper, and let’s dive into the world of client communications, copywriting, and everything they can do for your business when you tie ‘em together!

The truth about copywriting for your small business…

The thing about copywriting that most business owners don’t realize is that it goes far beyond your website.

Copywriting is everywhere you look!

It’s in that social media post you sent out this morning, in the email newsletter you wrote over the weekend, in the text reply to the dozens of messages you receive in your inbox a day.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons Why A Liberatory And Culturally Competent Marketing Strategy Can Boost Your Business

And – here’s the real kicker – good copywriting makes the difference between actually getting and keeping a client and losing their attention before they’ve even had a chance to get to know what you do. That’s why grabbing a client’s attention from the start is so important – and it’s exactly where an effective client communication cycle comes in. 

So, what’s a client communication cycle?

A client communication cycle (or strategy) is everything and anything that relates to how you communicate (verbally, written, etc.) with your clients.

This can be emails, texts, short-form pieces of content – you name it!

We usually reserve most of our client communications to email because they:

  • Keep things in one place
  • Make sure the conversation stays professional
  • Are easier to find when we need to look back

And why is it a cycle? Because (finger’s crossed) once it begins…it just keeps going and going on a never-ending loop.

Effective client communication cycles – which we’ll discuss riiiiiight below – usually lead to repeat clients and these, as we’ve written about in the past, generally lead to…

  • More income
  • Less spending
  • Higher success rates
  • Easier sales
  • Free promotion

The 7 steps of an effective client communication cycle

Over at The Quirky Pineapple HQ, we like to split up our client communication strategy into easy-to-follow, actionable steps because…well, they’re easy to follow!

Think of it as a to-do list for each client that you can simply tick off as you go: simple, stress-free, and (most importantly) reusable.

Like we mentioned above, our client communications happen mainly via email. This means that everything is kept in one place – usually in our Client Relationship Management System (CRM) – for easy access. Most of these emails are templates that we have used in the past and lightly edit on the spot to fit the occasion, which means that we save a lot of time and – BONUS! – we already know what works 😉

Want to streamline your own client communication process? Purchase your all-access pass to The Quirky Pineapple’s Template Vault and get 30+ templates to help you save time, money, and make writing emails, blogs, and social media content a breeze! 

Here’s how these emails usually (and we use this word in italics because there will sometimes be the exception to the rule – although it doesn’t happen that often) go:

Step 1: The cold pitch

A “cold pitch” is your first contact with someone you want to work with – because you don’t always need to wait for them to come and find you!

We usually suggest that you…

  • Keep it as short as possible
  • Use stats to highlight your work
  • Highlight details about their business so they know you’ve done your research
  • Follow up after one week

Cold pitch emails can seem a little daunting, but they’re a great way to get your name out there if you’re a first-time freelancer or service-based business owner who’s just starting out and needs to find new clients.

Remember: the worst thing that can happen is they’ll say they’re not interested! And that doesn’t say anything about you or your worth!

Step 2: The proposal/contract

HOORAY! YOUR COLD PITCH WORKED!

Here’s where things might feel like they get a little bit trickier, but just remember to breathe: you got this!

Your proposal email should be as CLEAR and CONCISE as possible. Don’t leave any room for guessing because this might open up the floor for confusion down the road. When it comes to outlining your proposal and contract make sure you:

  • Clearly write out what roles you’re taking on
  • Explain what this role or these roles entail
  • How you will charge (hourly/project base/etc)
  • How payment is expected
  • Timeline of the project
  • Scope of the work

Having a fool-proof contract in place means that you and your client will be on the same page about everything and that your working relationship will get off to a good start!

Step 3: Welcome packet

Once the contract has been signed it’s time to onboard your client with a handy welcome packet. The “welcome packet” is a one-stop shop that holds all the information they need to know about working with you.

We usually recommend creating one that includes:

  • Working hours
  • Preferred channels of communication
  • Boundaries & expectations while working with you
  • Confidentiality agreements

Think of your welcome packet as the major introduction to you and your business. Make it as personal/professional as you’d like and add in everything you want clients to be aware of that you might have missed in your previous emails.

Step 4: Kick-off

The BIG day is here! The project has finally started and you’re finally ready to dig your teeth into what you do best.

Use this email to let your client know how you’ll proceed with the work and when they can expect big milestones to be completed (it’s even better if you can give them specific dates!).

If there are still any questions that you might have, make sure you ASK THEM NOW! You don’t want to start working only to realize you’re still unsure about XYZ…

READ MORE: How to Create a Brand Messaging Framework for Small Businesses

Use this step of the client communication process to tie up any loose ends before diving into the work on your own – and then it’s go-time 👏

Step 5: Touching base

It’s been a few days – maybe even a few weeks – and things have been going reaaaaaaal smooth. You’ve been working well, you’ve been delivering the work on time, and your client hasn’t had much to say.

Y’know what? It probably means it’s time to touch base and ask them how they feel things are going. 

When touching base with a client, shoot them a quick email to ask

  • If they’ve seen the work you’ve delivered
  • If they have any feedback on what you’ve sent
  • If there’s anything else they might need (within your contract limits)
  • How they feel about working with you

After all, it’s nice to reach out and remind clients about why they hired you in the first place!

Step 6: Goodbye packet

The project is complete, you’ve wrapped things up, and the contract is coming to an end…

This can be a really bittersweet moment, but it doesn’t have to be goodbye for good! Closing up a contract can mean starting up something new (even with the same client) – it’s just always a good idea to neatly wrap things up once they’re done to make sure there’s no room for error if things do move forward.

When it comes to a goodbye packet to wrap up a contract, we recommend you include:

  • How to save files or move files from one server to another
  • How long you’ll be available for any additional support
  • Any information regarding usage rights 
  • FAQs that might remain after your last call

Once this contract is closed, you can discuss the possibility of moving forward with a different contract or parting ways for the time being. 

Step 7: Asking for feedback

An important part of any effective client communication cycle is being open to receiving feedback and growing from it.

Asking past clients for feedback once you’ve worked with them is a great way to learn more about where you can improve within your business without having to “guess”.

READ MORE: 5 Ways to Increase Engagement in Your Community Organically

We usually send out a short online feedback form that both past and current clients can fill out. This form asks basic questions about their experience working with us and gives us valuable insight into what works, what doesn’t, and what they wish we did more of (amongst other quantifiable things).

Wrapping things up: the importance of an effective client communication cycle

Creating and maintaining an effective client communication cycle can make a difference between a small business that succeeds and one that struggles to take off.

Through the power of communication, relationships, and client retention, businesses can find new ways to stand out from the competition without the need to invest ALL of the time, effort, and money – resources that could be better spent elsewhere 😬

And, better yet, creating an effective client communication strategy is as easy as counting to seven:
Step 1: The cold pitch
Step 2: The proposal/contract
Step 3: Welcome packet
Step 4: Kick-off
Step 5: Touching base
Step 6: Goodbye packet
Step 7: Asking for feedback

And once you’ve nailed this one time – because we believe in the magic of reusing and tweaking – the rest will follow!

Have you designed your own effective client communication strategy? Do you have any tips you’re willing to share in the comments?


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