Managing client relationships
Posted on: 2019-07-31
Retaining clients can prove incredibly challenging for agencies. If you're not careful, all the money and effort you put into landing that prize client could go to waste if you don't treasure and manage your new relationship properly. With this in mind, we thought World Friendship Day presents the ideal opportunity to bolster and rekindle your client relationships!
Forging great business relationships requires good systems, vigilant investments and good software to keep track of everything – especially for agencies that need to juggle several clients at once. With sound relationship management, you can establish successful partnerships that last for many years, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Basic guidelines for professionals
At TopLine Comms, cultivating and fostering relationships with our clients is as important as the other aspects of our role. Following are a few important guidelines for professionals who manage client relationships of any kind.
- Get your clients involved in establishing goals
Just because a client comes knocking on your agency door, doesn't mean they want to surrender control of goals or plans for improving their business.
This is why it’s important to do the following:
- Establish the client’s pain points and listen to what they want to achieve
- Share and knock some ideas around
- Agree on measurable objectives
- Finally, give the client unflinching support in achieving that goal
When both parties are mutually engaged in the goal-setting process, you'll achieve far better results that are truly tailored to their needs.
- Keep the client constantly in the loop
Client relationships are all about proactive communication -- and in a business relationship, you have to be the one who takes the initiative.
Proactive communication is somewhat of an instinctive reaction. One has to sense if your client needs more information than you’ve provided, so communicate openly and often. They shouldn't have to send an email and wait for several days before receiving a response.
Be proactive by keeping your clients updated on your progress. Essentially, you become so good at keeping your clients ‘in the loop’ that they don't have to ask for updates or information because you've already provided it!
- Address a client’s needs before they know they exist
This goes hand-in-hand with proactive communication. No matter what role you assume in the client relationship, you ultimately have the responsibility to identify and address their pain points.
The problem is that clients don't always know what they actually need. They may understand that they are struggling with something, but they may not have identified the exact reason or reasons why their business isn't reaching its goals.
If you want to build great, lasting relationships never stop thinking about the
world from your
customer's perspective. By putting yourself in their shoes and addressing problems before they arise, you can build trust and deliver better results.
- Always be upfront, especially if expectations haven’t been met
Sometimes things just go wrong and, despite your best efforts, you might fail in helping your client reach the joint goals you established. While tempting to gloss over these imperfections out of fear that you'll lose a client, the final outcomes can be far worse if you choose to be dishonest.
Nobody wants to work with someone who hides the truth in an effort to save their own skin. Besides, increasing revenue from existing happy customers is easier than winning new customers.