You get some good ones, some great ones and oh boy, you get some tough ones. Love them a lot, or a little less than that, clients are the reason any agency (and business) exists. With such a hefty weigh in on the priority scale, they are worth looking after as much as possible. As the clock ticks towards the financial year-end in April, we revise five foundations for healthy, flourishing client relations:
1. Talk it Through
Communication is the basis for any relationship and it’s no different when it comes to business.
- Keep the client up to date with every step of processes and ensure regular updates are communicated.
- Even though emails are great for most of the communication, phone calls and face-to-face meetings when possible are essential for cultivating great client relations. The better both sides are informed and unified in vision, the better business results will be.
- Healthy relationships mean that when something goes wrong, or not according to schedule, it is communicated and dealt with as soon as possible.
2. Client is King
The client needs to know they are important to you. In fact, they need to feel as if they are your most important client.
- Be attentive to the client’s needs by being quick to respond to emails and communication.
- Be sincerely interested in the client’s business and put yourself in their shoes – what are their aspirations for their company and how can you help them reach the next level?
- Research the company, their audience as well as their competitors, thoroughly to ensure you have a solid base for formulating strategic goals to catapult their business growth.
3. Quality Deliverables
Quality work and measurable results are key ingredients that keep clients coming back for more.
- Formulate and communicate clear, manageable goals and strategies.
- Research industry trends to make appropriate suggestions for client.
- Regularly report on all the work done for a client so they can see exactly where their money is being spent. By showing them the results and success behind the work they will feel confident to continue working with you. Their ROI should be your main priority.
- Ensure that deliverables are on time. And if not, that it is communicated in advance and a plan to avoid future delay is set in motion.
4. Team Time
It’s very rarely that only one person works on a client. Team co-operation is therefore pivotal to produce work which will keep the client satisfied.
- Ensure the entire agency team behind the client is up to date and have the same vision for the client’s growth. Follow up with each member and ensure good internal communication is in place. Proper processes and relevant administrative technology are vital for effective team work and account management.
- Challenge the team to continually look for creative ways to make each campaign successful.
5. Be Human
Keeping in mind that as much as it’s business to business, it’s also person to person will go a long way in improving client relations.
- A little grace makes a big difference. Clients make mistakes and don’t always respond in the way you want them to. Staying positive and friendly in communication will see you reap benefits in the long run.
- Show appreciation. Humans love encouragement, which means clients love encouragement! When a client has been particularly helpful or you simply enjoy working with them, let them know.
From the Team
Some of MediaVision’s team members shared their thoughts on what it takes to maintain great client relations:
For me it’s certainly a case of “Do what you say you’ll do by when you said you would!’ – Thomas Schonenberger / Director
‘Deliver on the promises you make to them. If you tell them you’re going to do something for them, do it. Besides getting excited about their business, it’s important for any client to know that they can rely on you – something you will need to show them consistently through the delivery of quality work on an ongoing basis.’ Rebecca Johnson / Senior Digital PR Executive
‘Business is built on relationships.’ – Kaz Nel, Grapic Designer
From delivering on time to investing in relationships, keeping clients satisfied takes effort but the reward is well worthwhile. Here’s to smiling clients as we wrap up the last bit of the financial year and strategise for the one that lies ahead!