how to manage multiple clients
Last updated on June 5th, 2024

How to Manage Multiple Clients (Top 7 Secrets)

Key points

  1. Effective time management and establishing a client portal are essential for managing multiple clients and ensuring quick access to important information while keeping client data centralized.
  2. Documenting everything from project briefs to work delivery sign-offs minimizes miscommunication risks and enhances client satisfaction, ensuring a reliable record of client expectations and project scope.
  3. Automating repetitive tasks and setting up self-service solutions like help centers, subscription management, and ticketing systems can significantly reduce time spent on inquiries and streamline client management processes.

“I want more clients”, you say, but what do you do when you are graced with an abundance of them? I’ve come to understand that managing your clients is an art as much as it’s a science. Through my experience, I’ve identified several crucial elements that can make or break your ability to effectively manage multiple clients.

In this post, I’ll share the top 7 tips to help you manage multiple clients to avoid client churn and scale your revenue.

The challenges of managing multiple clients 

From overwhelming clients’ tasks to communication challenges—all these and more can really mess up your day as an agency owner when juggling multiple client projects.

Time management

As the clock ticks, time flies away, more work piles up, and deadlines loom. Time management is a major challenge when you’re busy overseeing every little task related to your agency.

time management

Subconsciously, you find yourself doing the less important things—say, you are busy scrolling on LinkedIn instead of allocating tasks to team members. Or even worse, you struggle to meet deadlines because you don’t want to delegate.

Related

If you’re not always productive, you’re not alone. A study shows that 88% of working people procrastinate daily. Furthermore, the same study shows that 31.9% said they procrastinate between two and three hours each day. You can’t expand your bandwidth if you struggle with time management.

Task priority

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” says Stephen Covey. There are so many tasks on your to-do lists daily—agency and client tasks. With too many things to focus on, it will be hard to stay organized.

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Communication

Miscommunication can occur when the way a client writes a message is interpreted differently by you. This can happen when the message lacks detailed background information concerning the project.

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For example, a B2B client emails a content agency founder asking for updates or information on a project. However, the email doesn’t clearly explain the project in question or give any actionable context. In this case, the team member may provide irrelevant information—or worse, ignore the email.

Resource allocation

It’s a challenge to accurately allocate different tasks and client project resources to your employees.

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When juggling multiple projects for different clients, you must match the client’s projects to the right person. But what if the right person is on holiday? You should have a backup plan ready for such cases.

Different clients’ industries and expectations

Every client you come across has a goal and an expected outcome. So, imagine having multiple expectations to meet for different industries. What a cybersecurity client deems as an outcome may be generic in the eyes of a client in e-commerce.

How to manage multiple clients (7 tips)

If you’ve reached the point where it’s become hard to manage clients, it means your agency is enjoying some level of success—which is a good problem to have.

Victor Ijidola from Leaps
Victor Ijidola , Leaps

And it’s a good problem you can solve. Here are 7 tips to manage multiple clients.

Using a client portal software

A client portal is a secure and centralized platform where clients can find all information related to the purchased services.

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This software helps you save time and handle several client questions because all information is in a central place: client communication, projects, files. It’s not surprising that many agencies want to create self-service client portals for their productized service offerings.

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Effective time management 

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” is a famous quote attributed to Peter Drucker. This quote addresses the core issue of managing time—meaning, you can’t manage time if you don’t measure it.

To manage multiple clients effectively, you need to keep track of time. As Morgan Housel puts it: “Controlling your time is the highest dividend that money pays.”

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To control time, you have to understand the types of tasks you have in a day, how much each takes approximately, and how to prioritize.

When you understand the types of time, proceed to apply techniques like:

  • Creating discrete blocks of time each day when you will handle major activities like clients’ coffee chats and team brainstorming.

  • Applying The Eisenhower Decision Matrix, a 2×2 matrix—a visualization tool that forces you to differentiate between the urgent and the important client’s tasks. It lets you prioritize your time accordingly and unlock new productivity and growth.

If managing multiple clients gives you a headache, like it gave me when I ran a content agency, get an operations manager. It doesn’t have to be a new hire; someone on your team—who enjoys operations work—could do it. You might need to reduce their current tasks to give them the time and energy for operations work.

Victor Ijidola from Leaps
Victor Ijidola , Leaps

Set realistic client expectations 

If you fail to meet client expectations, clients are unlikely to stay with you. Every client you work with has a mental image of their desired outcome.

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The mistake I see many agencies make is this: They are not clear and specific enough on their promises. Secondly, they fail to commit to the promises on their pricing page.

Let’s assume I subscribe to a monthly plan for a client portal software, and the primary promise is that I get a helpdesk module. After purchasing, I find out that this feature is missing. This results in an awkward feeling.

That’s what some service providers do; they commit to promising A and end up delivering B instead. I call it “expectation disconnect,” which is the differences that arise between your business’ service offering and what the client expects to receive in return.

Document everything 

Meticulous documentation is the key to successfully managing multiple clients. By implementing a documentation system, you can provide a record of the client’s expectations and project scope. It also serves as a reference point for your team, enabling them to solve client’s problems.

manage customers set up documentation

Improper documentation is a leading cause of project failure, accounting for nearly 50% of project challenges. So, document everything about your client collaboration:

  • project briefs

  • project timelines

  • client contract

  • client meeting notes

  • client feedback

  • invoicing

  • orders

  • work delivery

Documenting everything reduces the risk of miscommunication and ultimately scales client satisfaction.

Set up a process

If you want to have the grit to manage multiple clients, you must love the process. A solid client management process is the backbone of productive client management. It gives you the structure, roadmap, and reference points necessary to deliver what your clients expect of you.

To get results from your process, make sure you:

  • Follow a routine: During my conversation with Victor Ijidola, he added that he usually followed a routine when working on clients’ content. He said: “As the person responsible for creating briefs and outlines and conducting SME interviews, I quickly looked at the deadlines every morning for each of those tasks to see which ones could be pushed to the next day.” This helps him prioritize tasks and meet up with deadlines.

  • Set up a process: If task A is created, it is assigned to person B. Setting up a process involves assigning tasks to various team members in a timely and precise manner. For example, perhaps if a client faces an issue using the agency client portal, you can assign it to an account manager who specializes in onboarding.

Set-up self-service

Having multiple clients means having multiple inquiries and requests to respond to. It can be frustrating and time-consuming. But with self-service solutions, you can reduce time spent responding to basic client questions and improve customer experience.

Here are some self-service solutions you can create:

  • Help center: If you onboard new clients, make use of SPP’s onboarding page builder. You can integrate a video, links to helpful resources, and explain how to use the client portal.

  • Subscription management: Your clients might be too busy to remember that they need to renew their subscription to your service. Set up a subscription management tool to automate billing and track renewals.

  • Ticketing system: Tickets help you to track, manage, and resolve client’s issues. This system differs from a help center because it’s interactive. A robust ticketing system acts as a centralized hub, allowing agencies to efficiently manage client interactions, requests, and tasks across multiple clients with diverse needs.

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Automate repetitive tasks

There are manual tasks in your workflow that should be automated. This way, you can focus on other high-value tasks.

Here are a few action tips to follow:

  • Firstly, identify repetitive, manual tasks that consume significant time and resources.

  • Next up, invest in robust automation tools tailored to your agency’s needs. This way, you can assign tasks to each team member without hassle.

  • Lastly, train your employees on how to set up automations so you can focus on other tasks.

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By automating repetitive tasks, you can fasten service delivery to clients and increase your agency’s productivity.

Frequently asked questions

How do you manage multiple clients at the same time?

Prioritize important and urgent tasks, delegate work efficiently to the team, and automate repetitive tasks. Hire a project manager or operations manager to help manage workflow. Additionally, systemize client work processes to avoid burnout.

How do you prioritize tasks when dealing with multiple customers at once?

The first step is to examine tasks that are (not) urgent and (not) important. After assessment, focus on urgent tasks first, and assign them to team members who can deal with them quickly.

Set up a system for client management 

It’s always a great feeling to onboard more clients. But, like I said earlier, it gets tricky and overwhelming.

If you snooze, you lose—that’s the case when you fail to focus on fundamental principles that help you manage multiple clients. Set up a system that will help reduce the burden of work overload and increase team efficiency.

Avatar of Chris Willow
Founder of SPP
Chris started Service Provider Pro back in 2014 as a way to help automate a video production agency he was running at the time. Being early to productized services, he was frustrated with having to piecemeal different tools and services and ended up building an all-in-one client portal platform for himself and a few friends. That eventually took off and now Chris helps agency owners scale through software and systems.

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