How to Make Client Management Less Painful (Template)

Anyone who’s ever worked with clients knows how challenging (and at times, infuriating) it can be.

Whether you’re a marketing consultant, accountant, or photographer, chances are very few people understand what your real work actually entails. You have processes. Certain tasks are surprisingly time-consuming. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.

This is the crux of why client management is difficult:

Your clients don’t understand the complexity and scope of your work.

That’s why they’re not satisfied. They change their requests halfway through the project. They have unreasonable expectations about deadlines. They ask you to change something, and they want it to happen now.

What’s the solution? Sure, it’s easy enough to suggest obvious fixes like “improve communication” and “document everything.” But it’s not that simple, is it? The real challenge is how. Traditional means of communication via email, phone call, and text message is actually really hard and time-consuming. These tools fail to help; in many cases, they just create more work.

That’s why we created dapulse’s shareable boards. We experienced all the pain of client management, and knew there had to be be a better way to set expectations and share real-time progress with your clients.

With our system, you can finally work with your clients in a way that builds trust, freeing you to do better and faster work. It’s pretty simple: just invite your clients as guests to a shareable board (depending on your plan, you can have an unlimited number of guests.) There you can map out your process in a clear and visual way.

We created a template for you to try below. It’s built off the processes of some of the most successful teams and agencies around the world, but it’s fully customizable so you can change it however you’d like.

Get free access to this template

Eliminate the pain of client management and get everyone on the same page

Share a clear and defined roadmap with your clients

With the shareable board, you can clearly outline the steps of your client’s project for everyone to see. Add a due date column to make it clear exactly what is going to happen when. Chances are you repeat more or less the same process with every client, so for you, these steps are obvious and maybe even self-explanatory. But for your clients, the information is illuminating. They gain insight into your workflow and finally understand why a certain step takes as long as it does.

When you share a clear plan of high-level tasks, your client doesn’t have to ask you what’s next or call you to add another task every time one is completed. You instill confidence that you’re on top of everything and know how to get things done. Best of all, you set expectations clearly from the start and reduce painful communication down the road.

Communicate your progress without having to call or email (!)

Once you complete a certain step or are ready for your client’s approval, just @mention them in dapulse. They’ll automatically get notified via email or mobile notification (or both) and can look at the board either on their computer or their phone to see your update. Most importantly, they’ll see how it fits into the greater context of the project as a whole. You can see if they’ve seen your update, eliminating the guesswork of, “Have they read my email yet?”

In return, your clients can update statuses themselves, write comments, and let you know exactly what they think—again, without having to call or email you. It’s a fast and efficient way to communicate about where things stand and gives them a sense of control.

Centralize all files and communication in one place

Both you and your clients can upload files straight from your computer, Dropbox, or Google drive. dapulse keeps all of your work and conversations in one searchable, easy-to-find place. Compare that to email, where files and ideas quickly get lost in endless threads.

If and when you change plans, both your client and everyone else on your team is immediately in the loop. No need to play the metaphorical (or literal) game of telephone—all the information is there, for everyone to see.

This is the essence of transparency, which we believes always gets the best results. You reduce energy in managing the relationship and are actually able to focus on doing the work.

In this video, Emily shows you how she uses shareable boards to manage her imaginary flower shop. Rather than wasting time on phone calls and miscommunication, she can now efficiently manage incoming orders, communicate the status of orders to clients, and make sure orders actually go out on time.

In addition to giving you the lowdown on shareable boards, this quick tutorial teaches you more advanced things like how to manage the board’s permissions.

We believe that client management doesn’t need to be painful. It’s a simple as building trust by communicating your progress and timeline clearly. But you need the right tools in order to do that. With dapulse, you can get your clients addicted to seeing tasks turn green.

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