It makes sense for freelancers to think about improving business efficiency. There is always room for us to improve ourselves and our businesses. We can be better than we are – especially when it comes to business efficiency.
Enhanced Business Efficiency Through Better Client Training
One way to improve efficiency in a freelance business is focusing on training our clients. It only makes sense that the more training a client gets, the better the client will understand and the more ideal the client will become.
Training may not always be loads of fun for us or our clients. But in the long run, it will result in fewer problems.
In addition to the inevitable efficiency gains, an ideal client is often nothing more than a well-trained client.
Good client training can do far more than improving efficiency in business, too. It can save our businesses from future headaches and heartbreak.
But knowing our clients need training, and providing them training are two different things.
If you're a freelancer and you are looking for a better way to train your clients so that your freelance business runs more effectively, you may want to try these tactics.
Identifying Problems Early Aids Business Efficiency
Are you constantly reacting instead of being proactive? Or, perhaps, you're always busy putting out fires. You probably have an idea where your business needs more work. Watch for the tell-tale signs that indicate you might need to implement better ways to train your clients.
We can take more regular steps, earlier, and begin to get a bigger picture sooner, rather than later.
Conducting regular surveys of our customers or clients, making sure we're inviting comments and complaints from them, and keeping on top of how our customer service rates, can illuminate deficiencies early.
There is no question that training clients can have a direct impact on the efficiency of our businesses and the success and sales of our companies. In most cases, we find that more business is lost due to poor service and poor treatment, than poor product.
Client Training Methods
Millennial or Generation Z aged generations are entering the workforce and the age of our clients can play a role in how we train them – and how they learn.
People learn in very specific ways. We know that a millennial client has different life experiences than a Baby Boomer or even Gen X.
These days, it is imperative to offer multiple types of delivery methods for our training. Laptop training is very different than classroom style training. Training tools from the 90's may still work for some clients, but keep in mind that the younger clients are probably going to learn better with a gamification style of training.
Though a virtual reality environment may seem to be an unlikely tool in the freelance industry — it could be an effective training tool in the right scenario.
To help improve efficiency in a freelance business, we need to make sure our training methods are keeping up with the times. Training that is more engaging and fun, means our clients are going to better remember what they're being taught and more importantly, remember the positive learning experience they got.
Client Training Session Lengths Matter
A freelancer's time is precious and our clients have their businesses to run and their lives to live too. We can strive to create quick and easy processes that provide quality training for our clients, while at the same time and in the long run, save everyone time. We may even be able to implement programs that help established clients train new ones.
Consider designing training for clients that is accessible across a multitude of devices. We can take advantage of providing short training sessions made available to clients during their unexpected available time. Offer access to training sessions regardless of where the client is or when the client is able to conduct training. For example, when your clients are waiting in a line for coffee. Or, for clients who are better served without having to read material on a screen, like while driving or walking from one meeting to the next. A short 30 second to 1-2 minute training session can be viewed or listened to just about anywhere and any time.
As technology continues to evolve, so must our businesses and teaching methods – especially if we want to increase our business efficiency. There is no doubt, how people learn and train in business is changing.
Client Training as a Valuable Investment
Trade industries often pay for apprentice programs. There are novice plumbers or auto technicians who are paid a salary to learn the skills of the trade – they are basically paid to watch and learn. After the apprentice program is complete, the plumbing or auto business owner has a qualified technician. An apprentice program can be crucial in attracting and retaining qualified help.
Granted, younger workers are not pursuing careers in trade industries as much as some of the previous generations, however, the younger generations are actively looking for work in the online business world.
It is not incomprehensible then, to recognize that there could be some potential parallels in the online business industry for apprentice types of training programs, as well.
How to Use Client Training Mistakes to Boost Business Efficiency
Training is the act of teaching a person a particular skill or type of behavior. Learning something new is something completely different and is not always easy. Learning is, by definition: the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.
When we're training our clients, we're typically teaching them something new – something they are not familiar with. What they comprehend, retain, and apply is dependant upon their understanding of the information and in many cases their experience with it. It's unlikely they will ever have the depth of our knowledge or skill, so expect mistakes – especially in the beginning.
Expect, embrace, and accept mistakes – they're going to happen. A positive approach to mistakes can promote honesty, prevent additional issues from arising, and improve our freelance businesses, our training processes, and even our clientele.
If we really want to improve the efficiency of our freelance business, we need not look much farther than advancing our client training because it is only once our clients are fully briefed, prepared and feel supported by their freelance team that they are really able to be an ideal client.