The Ultimate Guide to Client Management Software
An effective client management system is key to business success. It helps drive company-client relationships, makes it easier to manage clients, and improves the overall client experience.
Though businesses can implement a manual client management system, having a built-in client management software solution can help speed up processes, streamline workflows, and ensure that important client data is stored and can be easily accessed at any moment in time.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits, explore top client management software solutions available, and demonstrate how Scoro helps facilitate effective client management.
What does client management mean?
Client management is the process behind an organization’s relationship and interactions with its clients – current and potential – and is all about building a solid working relationship. The main objective of client management is to keep clients happy, increase retention rates, and enhance the overall client experience.
Client management in action could be anything from sending out satisfaction surveys to keeping track of your clients’ needs and personas using a spreadsheet or client management software.
What is the difference between client management and customer management?
Though client management and customer management are similar – both clients and customers buy from an organization – clients are more likely to purchase a tailored service; one that leads to an ongoing relationship. And this is more likely to be in a B2B environment. Customers, on the other hand, are more likely to purchase an off-the-shelf product or service via a short-term interaction with an organization (this is usually in a B2C environment).
Take the following examples: a brand (client) buys bespoke services from a marketing or SEO agency to boost brand awareness on an ongoing basis. Meanwhile, a consumer (customer) buys a new television or subscribes to Netflix.
How is client management delivered?
Within smaller businesses, client management is often led by a ‘client manager’ or ‘customer relationship manager.’ Client managers help create an effective client management system, setting up processes and procedures that the entire team can make use of.
Though client managers use their expertise to create a client management system, software can also be utilized to streamline processes and make it easier to roll out protocols across the company.
The role of a client manager includes:
- Communicating and interacting with clients
- Forging ongoing relationships and building trust with clients
- Keeping an eye on client management trends
- Sending out client satisfaction surveys
- Account planning
- Assisting clients in their purchasing decisions
- Sending leads to the sales team
Why is client management important?
Client management drives client experience (i.e., the more effective the client management, the better a client’s perception will be about how an organization treats them). When an organization properly nurtures client relationships and does all it can to improve the client experience, clients are more likely to view the company in a better light. This results in more positive word-of-mouth, higher levels of retention, and increased ROI – all contributing to an organization’s long-term success.
Effective client management also leads to a more efficient working environment. Processes and frameworks that make handling clients smoother (i.e., client profiles, automated invoices, client database) can all make it easier for an organization to forge good client relationships, in turn improving the quality of projects delivered.
Client management best practices
Managing and handling client interactions and operations isn’t an easy task and requires a lot of careful planning, thought, and effective execution of projects and communications. However, there are a few best practices that organizations can follow to increase their success and ensure they’re delivering to their clients’ expectations.
Anticipate client needs
Understand your client and their needs. What are their motivations? What do they hope to achieve from working with you? What kind of client are they? This forms the basis for everything else – including the way you interact with clients, manage relationships, and deliver projects – so make sure you pinpoint your client’s point of view from the outset. Not only will this enable you to deliver a more personalized client experience, but it will also give you the information you need to deliver products and/or services that meet their needs exactly.
This could be as simple as sending out a survey to better understand your client’s needs or keeping track of all client information (their personas, wants, needs, data) within one central database.
Prioritize effective communication
Timely, transparent, and clear communication is key – you want to keep your clients in the loop and informed about any projects or deliverables you’re putting together for them. This will make for a smoother collaboration process, enhance the overall client experience, and show your clients that you’re on the ball and putting their needs first.
Seek feedback and listen to clients
Client management is all about building more successful relationships with clients and delivering the best experience possible. In order to achieve this, you need to carve out time to listen to your clients and take on board any feedback they may have. This will enable you to improve on your existing client experience and manage expectations as they arise.
Show your clients that you genuinely care about them and are doing all you can to deliver as personalized an experience as possible by building trust with them. If they are a B2B client, this means doing your research to understand their industry and what it is they do. It could even be something as simple as learning their lingo and jargon, making for smoother interactions and collaborations in the future. Not only will this enable you to deliver tailored services and/or products to your client, but building trust will also increase their loyalty to your brand.
You can also build trust with clients by:
- Sending personalized messages (i.e, birthday greetings)
- Being responsive and genuine in your communications
- Remaining transparent and open
- Being reliable and meeting all project deadlines
- Asking – and acting on – client feedback
Set realistic expectations
Set realistic expectations and goals with your clients. Don’t promise the world or stretch the truth. Give your clients the exact numbers and results from previous projects and then work on delivering more than expected. Remember the adage ”underpromise, overdeliver”. It’s a lot easier to deliver beyond a client’s expectations if you’ve set realistic and achievable goals.
Provide clients with an overview of projects
Another easy way to build trust with clients and improve working relationships is by getting them directly involved in the discussion. Show them what you’re working on and give them access to projects. Not only will this give them a better understanding of how you work, but it will also show a great deal of transparency and give them a high-level overview of everything that’s going on.
What is client management software?
Client management software is used to aid in an organization’s relationships and interactions with its clients, streamlining processes and making it easier to manage clients and deliver to their expectations.
There are a lot of moving parts in the client management process, from tracking client profiles and regularly communicating with them, to sending out contracts and invoices. For this reason, client management software needs to provide a wide range of functions. It needs to help an organization communicate clearly with its clients and it needs to make basic client management processes simpler and more efficient (i.e., by introducing automated invoicing and billing tools).
Benefits of client management software
Client management software can be the key to nurturing client relationships and interactions. However, there are many other benefits that organizations can reap once they implement client management software.
Streamlines workflows and communications
The majority of client management software systems will use automation to streamline workflows and communications, speeding up processes and enabling an organization to deliver on its clients’ needs more effectively. This doesn’t just benefit clients – it also gives teams more time to work on tasks that bring the most value to an organization, instead of filling all their time with manual and repetitive activities.
Automation can come in the form of intuitive billing and invoicing solutions, chatbots that answer client queries without the need for human intervention, and AI that helps clients with routine tasks or activities (i.e., subscribing to a newsletter, signing up for a free trial, or activating software).
Provides an overall picture of clients
One of the main purposes of client management software is to collect and store as much useful information about clients as possible – their customer profiles, needs, desires, personas, and preferences. This information is usually stored in a central database and is gathered using AI systems, making the process of aggregating all this data much easier.
Not only does this give organizations a better picture of their clients, but it enables sales teams to deliver even more tailored services and/or products to prospects. It allows them to focus their energy on targeting ‘warm’ leads – potential clients who are in the mindset to buy.
Delivers a more personalized client experience
As well as giving organizations the data they need to deliver customized products and/or services, client management software can also use automation to deliver a more personalized client experience once they are on board. For instance, by combining client profile data collected using AI, client management software can deliver bespoke work anniversary greetings or follow-up communications after purchases or recent interactions.
Going the extra mile in your relationships with clients will help build trust, increase client loyalty, and lead to higher retention rates. This is especially true for organizations in long-term relationships with clients or those that offer ongoing services and/or products; these personalized communications and experiences show that you value and acknowledge the working relationships that you have with clients – and the best part is that they only take seconds to schedule within your client management software.
Client management software trends
As technology continues to advance, new trends within client management have started to emerge. Here, we explore the top three trends in client management.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has gained a lot of traction within CRM and client management systems. Easing workloads and freeing up time for employees to focus on the most important tasks, AI is often used to collect customer data and communicate with clients via chatbots and other self-service interactions.
Many organizations aren’t just seeking a SaaS solution to their client management needs – they’re seeking a XaaS (everything as a service) solution. XaaS is a software system that combines many different tools for many different purposes (i.e., an all-in-one work management platform that provides organizations with CRM tools, project management tools, and financing tools). Scoro is a great example of a XaaS solution as it offers businesses key client management tools as well as a variety of other applications that can be used across an entire organization.
The whole point of client management software is to deliver an impeccable client experience, build trust, and forge genuine business relationships with clients. The only way organizations can do this is by devoting enough time to these interactions and relationships; this is why it’s so important for businesses to have efficient processes and workflows in place. For this reason, automation is an incredibly important trend in client management as it frees up time for employees to forge those connections and focus on their clients.
Best client management software
Scoro is the leading end-to-end client and work management software that helps organizations from a variety of industries – creative, professional services, marketing, and much more – to streamline their communications, automate manual tasks, and improve their customer relationship and client management systems.
Top features that make Scoro a prime client management software tool:
- Contact database – Scoro’s contact database gives users an overview of their leads and clients, making it easier than ever to keep track of sales activities, communications, and overall relationships.
- Automated billing, quoting, and invoicing solutions – Easily send personalized invoices and quotes to clients with Scoro’s automated quoting and billing solutions.
- Client profiles – Create custom client profiles with key information on customers’ preferences, language, currency, tax-rate, payment terms, and payment due dates.
- Orders and contracts – Follow up on purchases or interactions with automated sales order confirmations and contracts.
- Customer portal – Streamline communications with clients through Scoro’s customer portal. Give clients access to shared documents, ongoing projects, and quotes and facilitate feedback and collaboration.
What’s unique about it: Scoro brings users a suite of work management and client management tools, all under one roof. No more toggling between different apps – teams can now access everything they need from one central location.
Pricing: Free 14-day trial, paid plans from $26 user/month
Monday.com is a work management software platform that features a variety of templates catered to specific industries. Work management is its main focus, but its CRM template can also be used to manage leads and aid in the client management process.
- Lead-management forms
- Kanban view
- Email integration
- Account & Contact Management systems
Monday.com combines a variety of different tools for specific departments within organizations (i.e., sales, dev teams, and project management teams).
Pricing: Free 14-day trial, paid plans from $8.50 per seat/month.
Drip is one of the preferred client management software tools for eCommerce teams.
- Multi-channel touchpoints
- Advanced segmentation tools
- Client and customer tags
- Email marketing solutions
Drip collects data from a variety of eCommerce stores such as Shopify and WooCommerce, giving users valuable client information that can be used to supercharge marketing strategies.
Pricing: Free 14-day trial, paid plans from $19 per month
Pipedrive is a client management solution designed specifically for salespeople by salespeople.
- Lead-generation chatbots
- AI sales mentor
- Pipeline metrics
- Visual reports and dashboards
Pipedrive has a variety of CRM tools and software capabilities for different roles within organizations (i.e., contact managers, design, and lead managers).
Pricing: Free 14-day trial, paid plans from $18.71 per month
Honeybook is a cloud-based client management platform designed specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Contracts feature
- Custom step-by-step workflows
- Online payments
- Scheduling tool
Honeybook combines bookkeeping tools with essential CRM software to help small businesses thrive.
Pricing: 7-day free trial, paid plans from $39 per month/$390 per annum
Case studies: How Scoro helps teams drive client management
Scoro provides businesses across every sector with a powerful toolkit to manage client relationships and interactions, as well as deliver a more personalized client experience. Here, we look at just some of the businesses that have improved their client management processes with the help of Scoro’s client management software.
1. Cross Media
Cross Media is a full-service marketing agency for the healthcare, legal, financial, educational, and government sectors based in the Netherlands. Before Scoro’s implementation, Cross Media was struggling with data fragmentation. This made it difficult to keep track of client information and to report back to customers effectively.
After testing many different software systems, Cross Media found Scoro to be a top fit for its business needs. As well as providing the agency with the necessary tools to improve their CRM and handling of their clients, Scoro also gives them a complete overview of their business – from invoicing and project management to finances.
How does Cross Media benefit from Scoro’s client management software capabilities?
Scoro’s integration with Cross Media’s existing customer portal enables them to provide real-time reporting to their clients, ensuring that all their customers stay up to date on their projects.
“Our clients get real-time insights into their media plan and their advertising material calendar, and publishers will have real-time insights into the numbers of advertisements and turnover in their journals.”
- Bart de Wilde, Senior Account Manager, Cross Media
Looking to the future, Cross Media is keen to improve its relationship management and client consultancy further by connecting Scoro to Hubspot. This integration will give customers better access to their client portal and make them more self-sufficient.
2. Butcher & Gunderson
Butcher & Gunderson is a creative consultancy based in the UK that provides its clients with a range of design and creative services. Before Scoro’s implementation, Butcher & Gunderson were using multiple tools and software for different tasks (i.e, project management, finances, contacts management). This had a significant impact on employee workflows, forcing team members to toggle between different apps, wasting valuable time which could have been devoted to client management and improving the overall client experience.
After testing out a variety of different tools, Butcher and Gunderson chose Scoro as its main end-to-end work management and client management software solution. Providing a suite of tools from one central platform, Scoro eliminates the need to toggle between different apps and helps streamline workflows.
How did Butcher & Gunderson benefit from Scoro’s client management software capabilities?
Since Scoro is able to operate across a range of different currencies, Butcher & Gunderson can now expand its client market and streamline working relationships with overseas customers.
“Before Scoro, we used software which was not flexible enough to fit our business’ needs [and] incompatible with other programs. We wanted everything to be in one place, more flexibility, simplicity, integration, and something that was more intuitive in its usability.”
- Tom Penrose-Harding, Senior Account Executive, Butcher & Gunderson
3. Aesara Partners
Aesara Partners is a UK-based consultancy firm that provides clients with executive coaching, leadership development, and consultancy services. Jodie Gibbens, CEO of Aesara Partners, understood just how much of a difference efficiency in the workplace made to client relationships. With 10 years’ prior experience trying to improve process efficiency, Jodie was determined to make Aesara’s workflows as organized and streamlined as possible.
Aseara Partners chose Scoro as its client management software provider because of its breadth of capabilities. As well as providing a suite of work management and automation tools, Scoro helps the consultancy firm double down on its client management processes and improve the client experience.
How did Aesara Partners benefit from Scoro’s client management software capabilities?
Scoro’s client management tools – personalized invoicing, billing, and custom dashboards – enable Aseara to bring more value to clients and deliver higher-quality outputs. In fact, the consultancy firm reports that control over the quality of its service has more than doubled after Scoro’s implementation – a testament to the software’s capabilities.
“There is more quality control over what goes out to clients and how we track it internally; it is much faster and easier to manage our workflow.”
- Jodie Gibbens, CEO, Aesara Partners
4. Grant Thornton Baltic
Grant Thornton Baltic is one of the world’s largest professional service networks, providing its clients with advisory, consultancy, and outsourcing services. Before Scoro’s implementation, Grant Thornton was struggling to provide clients with an accurate breakdown of time usage to clients. This was partly down to the fact that the company didn’t have an official CRM system in place, making it difficult to get an overview of their work and time spent working on projects.
Grant Thornton wanted to improve its client management processes while streamlining employee workflows. The company found Scoro to be a top fit as it provided a suite of work management and client management tools – all from one central location.
How did Grant Thornton Baltic benefit from Scoro’s client management software capabilities?
As well as providing the company with an effective CRM system, Scoro’s client management software tools – particularly its contact cards – play a key role in increasing customer satisfaction.
“Before any client meeting, we can easily access the information, prepare ourselves, and assure the meeting time is used most efficiently.”
- Diana Varik, Head of Support Unit, Grant Thornton Baltic
Contact cards are used to store important client information, enabling Grant Thornton to deliver more efficient and valuable meetings to clients. Since contact cards have data on client preferences, currencies, and their overall personas, Grant Thornton is also able to use this information to deliver more personalized experiences and solutions to clients.
Stramark is an online marketing agency based in the Netherlands. Before Scoro’s implementation, Stramark was struggling with data fragmentation – vital client information was scattered across different locations, making it difficult to keep track of client preferences and profiles.
After toggling between underperforming tools and applications, Stramark made the switch to Scoro. Providing the agency with a suite of work management and client management tools – all from one central hub – Stramark is able to better manage clients and improve its overall efficiency.
How did Stramark benefit from Scoro’s client management software capabilities?
Scoro’s client management tools – automated billing, personalized quoting, and contact card features – enables Stramark to better manage its client base and provide a more personalized client experience, increasing satisfaction levels.
“Having all the information gathered into a single solution, we can assure that we bill our clients with greater accuracy and this, in turn, ensures that our clients get at least 10% more value.”
- Wouter Blom, Founder, Stramark
Modern is a B2B marketing and advertising agency based in the UK, providing its clients with a range of services such as account-based marketing, performance marketing, and digital content programs. Before Scoro’s implementation, Modern was struggling to adapt and tweak its processes to align with its rapid growth.
Providing a suite of work management and client management tools, Scoro enables Modern to better manage its workflows and relationships with clients. The agency needed easy and scalable ways to manage its consultancy services – Scoro helps them do just that.
How did Modern benefit from Scoro’s client management software capabilities?
Modern’s relationship with its clients was incredibly important – it would often lead to extra business opportunities or long-term working relationships. By using Scoro’s client management software tools, Modern is able to facilitate more effective interactions with its clients – helping to avoid miscommunications, delays, and errors.
“Customer relationships are important to us. Change is constant in the sectors we work in; when our key contacts leave a client company, we often stay with the original business, as well as getting introduced into their new organization.”
- Nicola Ray, Founder and CEO, Modern
Do your teams have access to the right client management software?
Having a direct impact on client satisfaction, retention levels, and revenue, effective client management is key to business success – no matter what industry that business happens to be in. As well as playing a crucial role in attracting new customers, a solid client management system can also determine whether a client maintains a long-term relationship with an organization. With the rise of tech, client management software makes it easier than ever before for businesses to achieve those objectives and deliver a high-touch client experience that’s genuine.
Scoro provides businesses with a powerful client management solution, all built on a suite of work-management tools designed to maximize productivity, streamline workflows, and elevate existing client management processes. Try your free 14-day trial today!