In today’s competitive creative services landscape, delivering impeccable products or services is not a choice, it is expected.
As someone who has been working in client facing roles for most of my career, I strongly believe that one of the most effective ways to ensure that you stay in the game and offer a solid competitive advantage is based on the relationship you have with your clients.
To stand out with clients, consider these 5 tips to ensure success and build stronger relationships that will drive profitability in your creative agency.
1. Understand your customer’s needs
A individual company’s needs may be similar in relation to their wider industry’s needs. However, it’s important to remember that depending on who your relationship is with, needs will differ and sometimes the client themselves can be unsure and/or confused about what those needs might be. An Account Manager should always ensure that they listen well, but also ask questions to ensure that all objectives and requirements are addressed. A mistake that I often see is a client contact representing a specific department, focusing heavily on their own requirements, but ignoring or giving little attention to the needs of another department. It is the role of an Account Manager to ensure that other departments’ requirements are taken into account during the discovery process and offer this assistance to their client. More often than not, this help is really appreciated by the client.
2. Build a personable relationship
We may overuse our professional hats and sometimes forget that we are dealing with people. Even the most shy personalities out there will generally appreciate it when their birthdays, favorite drink, hobbies, or children’s names are remembered. Including a personal touch with every conversation has helped the relationships that I have with my clients and is something that every client facing representative should try to incorporate into their strategy.
3. Communicate frequently and effectively
It is easy to become busy, postpone making that catch up call or sending that email checking in on your clients. Constant communication is the best way to ensure that you retain your clientele, because it is very likely that your competition will also be touching base with your clients quite regularly. New business professionals are typically target driven and will have a Sales Development team ensuring that they always remain in contact with their prospects. Staying in touch ensures that you remain top of mind and build a strong relationship with your clients.
4. Exceed speed & timeline expectations
Speed is extremely important to ensure that your client is satisfied with your service. Delivering your promise with the timeline that you committed to is the least that you should work towards. Exceeding expectations in regards to timelines is something that very few businesses do. The use of a powerful scheduling and resourcing tool can help companies work against an internal deadline date while still keeping the clients expected deadline in mind.
5. Show your clients results
Reporting in real time and providing your client with reports that are both easy to understand and visually telling a story can also be very powerful. Clients want to be kept in the loop as to how they are spending their money and most importantly, the return that they are receiving from their investment. Visibility will also ensure that your clients are confident that your services can be trusted. It shows them that you are taking accountability and it is a clear indication of your professionalism.