What Is a Client Contract?

When entering into a deal with your client, you may sometimes think that it is okay to finish it off with a handshake. Well, that may apply to some light arrangements but not with more substantial agreements. A client contract will protect you and your business in case issues arise between you and your client. For example, a coach who offers personal training for a well-known fitness company or gym needs to have a written agreement with his client concerning the term of the services he will provide. The client can’t complain about not receiving the personal trainer’s services once the term is over. Moreover, a client contract can also come in the form of a service agreement, but the details of each contract will depend on what kind of service you provide. Your business may fall into one of the different service industries, such as wellness, healthcare, insurance, finance, professional services, design, and more.

According to Statista, in 2017, the fitness industry’s worth, specifically the fitness category, amounted to $595.4 billion.

When we talk about the insurance industry, in 2018, there were about 773 life insurers in the United States.

In the world of design, in 2019, the total revenue of the graphic design industry reached about $15 billion.

Tips for Establishing a Stronger Relationship With Your Client

Building a good relationship with your client goes beyond following what a contract states; it involves listening and serving your client with a sincere heart. Note that growing your business also means strengthening your relationship with your client. You may not see it, but a client who is satisfied with your service may refer you to another customer. With that said, here are some tips for establishing a better connection with your client.

Know your work. Before personally meeting your client, try to do some research about your company, its past business projects, and the team involved. By having enough knowledge about your work, you will be more confident and enthusiastic during your first conversation, and you will gain the trust of your client. For example, if you are an event planner, talk about successful weddings from the past and share how your team works to accomplish those events.Meet with your client frequently. Set meetings with your client regularly. If you are a contractor, frequent communication with your client is essential, especially when working on a large project. Meetings must include updates on the project and solutions to some project issues. Also, to strengthen your relationship with your client, you may ask your client out for lunch after a meeting without malice. If you have clients outside your state, set a schedule with all of them, if possible.Get feedback. Ask for feedback about your work. For example, a designer can ask a homeowner some feedback about how they can communicate better while working on a house’s interior design. After the contract term, you can ask again for another input. Ask what your clients like and dislike during the process. By doing that, you will get an idea of how you will deal with your future clients. Also, encourage your client by saying that you are open to feedback, whether positive or negative. Don’t be afraid and take your clients’ comments seriously and make necessary changes for better business.Satisfy your client’s expectations. Be true to your words and do what you promised to do for your client. Also, don’t settle with merely meeting expectations, but try to exceed them through better communication and results. Set SMART goals, which means they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Keep an honest relationship with your client by also letting him know your limitations. Moreover, don’t forget to maintain a good attitude towards your client even under the pressure of exceeding his expectations. Be calm and positive, no matter what, especially when talking over the phone.Be the expert. The main ingredient of a good client relationship is trust. You earn trust by showing yourself to be a master of your profession. You may be an expert in photography or videography. Whatever your line of work is, show your client your broad knowledge about your industry. Another way to display your expertise is to make yourself a good source of information. For example, if you do counseling services, you must answer your client’s questions with careful thought, or you can recommend him a reliable book to read. Moreover, an expert also knows when to say no. One more example is a client who suggests a design to an architect for his home, but the architect says no because the model is unrealistic. It may be uncomfortable to say no, but it is better than failing to accomplish your goal in the end.Learn how to communicate online. Communication is the key to maintaining a relationship with your client. In our world today, messages usually come in the form of emails. Therefore, one must learn how to interact online. Send emails that are clear and understandable. Be straightforward, and avoid placing unnecessary or irrelevant information. State your purpose and call your client to action. Most importantly, check your grammar because wrong grammar can affect your reputation as a professional.Be honest about your mistakes. All people make mistakes in many points of their lives. The question is, how do you make up for your faults? You should apologize for your mistakes and then look for a solution that addresses the problem. Tell your client openly about what happened. For example, if you are working on something on a social media platform and you published the wrong information, you have to find a way to cover that up for your client. Remember to be still professional in your approach when apologizing to your client.Be authentic. Your company, boss, and the client hired you because you fit the job. So, be yourself when facing your client. People know when you are pretending to be something else, and that affects their impression on you. Being real is one way to connect with your client truly.Make genuine connections. Yes, your main job is to realize the contract’s goal, but you can do more to make real connections. It’s not all about the deal or transaction. It is also about the other small details. For example, you can recommend a good place your client can stay while on vacation and ask him how it went. You can send a client greeting cards on special holidays. You can also congratulate them on their accomplishments. Note that the little things you do that outside of the business matters. When you treat all your clients in such a way, you will be on top of your competitors.

How To Construct an Effective Sample Client Contract

The purpose of a contract is to ensure that the parties involved have the same goal in mind. The parties must agree about how the whole project will proceed. The following are steps on how to create a simple contract example.

Step 1: Write Some Important Background Information

Your contract format should include some vital background information about you and your client. This information includes your legal names and addresses. Also, use the official name of your business in the paperwork. Moreover, instead of using generic terms (e.g., service provider), use your legal name or your customer’s name on the entire contract.

Step 2: Include the Project Details

Be specific about your duties and responsibilities as a service provider. For example, a client hires you to ensure that his office follows the laws of ergonomics. As a physical therapist, you should write the scope of your service. Which areas of the office do you have to modify? Who will provide the materials needed for the modification? What are the materials required? The goal is to make a project guideline so that the work will go smoothly between you and your client.

Step 3: Specify the Terms for Payment

How will the client pay you? Will it be on an hourly basis or by project basis? If you want your client to pay you hourly, write your maximum work hours. If you want it to be on a per-project basis, state clearly what you have to deliver. Also, set the schedule for payment. For an hourly basis, you can request for payment per week or month. For project-based payments, you may need to provide an invoice for every milestone. The client may pay you after he gets an account every 15 or 30 days. Moreover, include the acceptable methods for payment, and don’t forget to write the penalties for non-payment.

Step 4: Set the Deadlines

Every process a particular project undergoes must have a deadline. As we’ve mentioned earlier, you and your client have deadlines to meet, so be specific about it. For example, client A must submit the requirements so service provider B can proceed with the next procedure.

Step 5: Decide on the Conditions for Termination

Typically, for employee contracts, both parties can terminate their agreement after two weeks’ notice. However, for client contracts, the conditions for termination depend on every case. To protect yourself, include a statement about fees that are non-refundable once paid.

Step 6: Choose a Governing Law

You can choose which state laws you want to govern or rule over your client or customer contract in case disputes arise. Choosing a governing law will be helpful, especially if your client comes from a different state. If you don’t have a reason to pick a different state, it is better to select the laws of your state. Traveling outside your state to resolve a conflict can be expensive and can cost you a lot of time.

FAQs

What does the term “notice” mean?

Notice is the spare time one party provides another when they decide to end the agreement before the exact end date. A notice gives a service provider time to find another employer or give a client some time to find another service provider. For independent contractors, there is no law to protect them regarding this matter unless written in the contract. Nevertheless, courts may consider a case where an independent is wholly dependent on the client. In such a situation, courts may demand a specific notice period.

What is an independent contractor?

Independent contractors offer services in return for payment, but they are not like employees under the control of an employer. Independent contractors practice their trade, and some examples include plumbers, construction workers, graphic designers, accountants, engineers, and information technologists.

How does a service agreement differ from an employment contract?

A service agreement’s purpose is to employ independent contractors or service providers for a specific job. It is a contract that ends after project completion. An employment contract, on the other hand, is a contract utilized to hire workers or employees. It is an agreement with a longer-term compared to a service contract.

A client contract is a document that guides the relationship between a client and a company or service provider. A client contract will remind a company or service provider of his obligations towards his client. Also, it will set the responsibilities of a client towards a company or a worker. With that said, you can check one of our client contract templates above and download it for your benefit.