Here at Envoy, our vision is to be the company that clients love to work with and employees love to work for. We’re pretty sure we have the latter handled, so how do we accomplish the former? We pride ourselves on maintaining several long-standing clients, some spanning over 20+ years. We like to think that’s due in part to how we approach client relationships. You see… we’re not just an ad agency, we’re an extension of your in-house marketing team.
Here are a few of our tips on how to build and nurture client relationships.
- Cultivate Real Relationships. Did you know that your client is a real, live human with real human struggles and successes, just like you? Take time to get to know your client on a personal level, as well as professional. Not only will this allow a glance into their life, but it could provide insight into why they are the way that they are – leading to better understanding how to approach certain things with them. Next time your meeting wraps at 11:30, offer to take them out to lunch and try not to talk about work for an hour. Oh, and a card or small gift on their birthday goes the extra mile to show your appreciation.
- Build Trust by Being Trustworthy. Trust doesn’t happen overnight. It’s something that is achieved over time by being honest about the work that you’re doing. In my opinion, honesty is always the best policy. When discussing details for a new project, be transparent about timelines and costs. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver on. Don’t suggest a “solution” to something that doesn’t benefit your client, but makes your wallet a little fatter. We like the idea of under promising, but over delivering. At Envoy, we listen and we care… and we will never suggest something that we don’t believe is the right fit.
- Communication is Everything. If it’s a project update once a week, or a bi-monthly face-to-face meeting with an agenda and a recap to follow, find out what works best for you and your client and maintain that level of communication. Ensure your email communications are clear and concise. Make your subject line relative to the content, provide a clear reason for the email and any outstanding items needed, and be sure to attach any documents your client will need to reference. Try to predict any questions they may have in response and proactively answer them. Outline to-dos or expectations and next steps. Re-read your email before sending and double check you’ve included everything you need before sending. If your client isn’t the kind to respond to an email, pick up the dang phone! Bonus Tip: If someone emails you while you’re in the middle of something, acknowledge you received the email and will get to it as soon as you can. Don’t let an email sit unanswered.
- Be Someone You’d Want to Work With. Last, but not least: be someone you’d want to work with. Attitude is everything. It isn’t asking too much to just be a pleasant person from 9-5. Leave the drama for your mama, you know. Once I get a good read on a client, I tend to let my sarcastic side show. I’ve been known to work completely unrelated photos of kittens into presentations from time to time. Be positive and keep things light, but always professional. Not only will you be someone that clients love to come to, but your coworkers might appreciate it, too.
Is all this client-relationship talk making you think you’re with the wrong agency? Give us a call. We’ve got a dedicated team of talented individuals eager to start our next twenty-year client journey. 😉