Proactive communication about what you’re doing for clients is essential to a positive ongoing relationship that benefits both you and the client. In regard to ongoing project work, this is pretty straightforward. You email after the design, you email after the development…basically at every stage, something is ready for review. But what about ongoing website care? Is our monthly report enough?

Ever get an email from a client requesting that they cancel their monthly care plan? Did panic set in that maybe you weren’t clearly communicating all that you were accomplishing as you feverishly craft your response? Many times, with ongoing care plan clients, a monthly report isn’t enough.

I’ve found when clients entertain cancelling ongoing relationships, it is not financially motivated. It is actually based on the assumption that what they are paying for holds no value to them. Often, we ourselves downplay or devalue what we are actually doing every month!

The key is to recognize the work you are doing and to reach out regularly. When we reach out to someone unprovoked, we call this a “touchpoint.” “Touchpoints” are the key to proving your value in an ongoing relationship.

3 Ways To Show You Are Actually Working

1. Uptime Monitoring

You have uptime monitoring on each of your websites (or you should!), and sites go down from time to time. Sometimes this is an indicator of performance, sometimes it’s an indicator of them not renewing their domain or hosting (yikes!). But even for the small 5-10 minute downtimes, these notices should be flagged and followed up on. A lot of times, I’ll get downtime notices all at once for sites on the same host so I know the server is being worked on.

Touch Point (Prove to clients you’re working)

Send an email to the client letting them know they had some downtime recently. You checked into it with the host and the server was being worked on, all is running well. Or if its performance related, you’ve flagged a task to run P3 Profiler and made sure plugins are running smoothly. These can ALL be canned email replies saved and ready to shoot off at a moment's notice.

2. Furthering Your Education

Every day, you are reading articles and improving your knowledge of WordPress, social media, marketing and more. The more you grow as a consultant, the more your client benefits. They are paying you the same amount every month as you become more valuable. I consider your ongoing education work that you are doing on behalf of the client. Doubt it? Read below.

Touch Point (Prove to clients you’re working)

If you’re reading your WP Elevation Digest email, or just surfing Facebook, you are sure to come across an article or two that will serve your client. Maybe it’s about lead capture or about some new Facebook development trends. Copy and paste the link to that article into an email and send it off to the client. You’ve saved them valuable time for a resource that may end up bringing them more clients or customers. It’s personalized and shows that their website is on your mind. They may even ask, “hey, can I pay you to set up this lead capture form for me?”

3. Security Patch Releases

WordPress and plugin security updates come out weekly. You can get notices from WP Tavern or Sucuri and patch them immediately with an update. Don’t keep these a secret; you actually helped prevent an attack.

Touch Point (Prove to clients you’re working)

When a release regarding a security patch comes out, make a note of the websites who had that plugin when you updated. Generate a canned email reply letting them know a security release came out for plugin “X” and you’ve updated it. Now, if they are on managed WordPress hosting then they will most certainly get a notice from the host anyway. So by being proactive and sending an email it’s updated, you become a SUPERSTAR!

July_2016_3-ways-to-prove-youre-working-content

Email Templates

See that was easy! Now go set up three canned email replies. Ah heck, I did it for you:
(Pro Tip: I like this crazy fun Gmail Chrome Extension – Gorgias)


Subject: Website downtime follow-up

Dear Client,

We recently got notified of some downtime on your website. We were right on top of it and followed up with the webhost. Turns out the webhost was doing some work on the server and the website was back up in no time. Everything is running well. Feel free to email any questions.

OR

We recently got notified of some downtime on your website. Although the website returned pretty quickly, this might be an indicator of slow performing plugins. We’ve flagged this as a task to review your plugins for any performance issues and will be in touch only if we find anything we need to adjust – all included in your monthly plan. Feel free to email any questions.

Subject: Interesting read

Dear Client,

I came across this article today and though you would find it interesting, specifically the part about [insert post detail here]

[insert link]

Hope you find it helpful!

Subject: Security concern resolved

Dear Client,

Today there was an emergency release to patch a security issue on the [name of plugin] plugin by the plugin’s author. We were right on top of it and have updated to the latest version – all part of your monthly plan. Please feel free to email any questions.

Some Do’s and Dont’s

DO make is personalized. Even though it’s canned, tweak for each client. It takes you two seconds.

DON’T send and say you did the work but didn’t. Be honest and transparent, if you haven’t done it yet but it is a task, then say that.

DO send your monthly reports as you always do, these are on top of that. You want to have at least two “touch points” throughout the month.

DON’T send emails every week, that’s just annoying. One additional email on top of the monthly report is just perfect.

Now Go To Work!

Take the canned email templates and tweak with your own flavoring so you avoid those emails wondering what the heck they are paying you for! Comment below your client’s reactions when you start to use these “touch points”. I’d love to hear.

Kristina Romero
Kristina Romero is a website developer and consultant working for the last 8 years through her company KR Media & Designs (KRMD). As a front-end developer in the Washington D.C area, she’s had the opportunity to work with the Coca-Cola Company and Food Network on various WordPress projects. Kristina is proud to be a WP Elevation Business Coach, a mompreneur and passionate advocate for WordPress.