Making clients happy is key to any successful relationships and here I share with you my tips on how to do this every day and become a truly fantastic client services account manager.
True, common values.
I could not imagine working for a company I didn’t believe in. In my almost 10 years working within the marketing communications industry, I finally find myself at an agency that I not only fully believe in, but that believes in me. We have the same values and the ways of working, and behaviours, of which I’ve tried so hard to execute in previous roles and either not had the chance to or been discouraged..!
But this blog isn’t about any negatives I’ve experienced in my past working life. But all the positive ways of operating and approaching situations, that I have developed and been party to, to build solid, long-term relationships, instil confidence and inspiration to my clients and ultimately provide them with an award winning service.
I truly feel the success of any business is down to its relationships, whether that be with customers, suppliers, staff, the local community, and any other stakeholder in and around that business. Building and maintaining great relationships can be hard, but the underlying factors in any successful relationship are passion, a mutual respect and common goals to achieve objectives.
Making business a team sport
A fundamental value or attribute of our agency is the making of business into a team sport. No good relationship can be truly one-sided. If as an account handler you are not fully aware of your clients business, stakeholders and presence, how can you become an authority on what is a right route to market for that client and how can you work together in a forged relationship with common goals.
Now we can’t all be experts in Law or the construction industry for example but we (marketers) can be, and are, experts in the field of marketing. And ultimately, this is why your client is working with you. (Notice I say ‘with you’) A quote I read recently said ‘your customer doesn’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.’ I think that sums it up quite nicely really.
How does your garden grow!
Cultivating relationships with your clients is a crucial part of growing a successful business and as one of our key business qualities we know that People buy into People – that’s why we handpick the right team to grow your business and ours. We know that caring for and servicing any client relationship in this competitive age, is vital.
In an era where social media is king, an unhappy client can share their experience en masse and it’s no longer just yesterday’s fish and chip wrapping. That’s why it’s so important to create a fantastic experience for your clients, on a daily basis.
Another great quote from the inspirational and loved Walt Disney, said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
Top ten tips to ensure you DELIGHT clients every day:
- Exceed expectations and WOW! Do something you haven’t been asked to do (within reason) ‘I took the liberty of pulling together this news story from the information you gave me on the new starters in the company’
- Listen and ask lots of (relevant) questions. How you are super interested.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge a brief – get to the bottom of why the request has been made and what the overall purpose is – how can we as an agency delight yet still drive results.
- Over prepare for any eventuality – especially in face to face meetings. Prepare new, creative ideas or bring to live ideas with a bit of creative.
- Always be polite and professional but if you have a common interest with a client, speak freely with them about it… show your interest in them as a person outside of work
- If you agree to do something for a client, do it. My lifelong philosophy… ‘make things happen.’ It’s simple really but the one that can have the most impact if things go wrong. To expand on this, it could be something as simple as returning a call, promising to action some amends or looking into a piece of research on their behalf. Never over promise and under deliver – manage expectations. A client can quickly feel unimportant if they are unable to get hold of you or they feel they are not a priority. A client would be much more understanding if you were up front and explained why a piece of work couldn’t be done in a required time for example, and for valid reason. However they would not be so understanding if a deadline was missed without explanation. It is imperative to never let a client down.
- Admit fault. We are all human and nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. Sometimes things don’t go accordingly to plan and often external factors can contribute to errors, out of our control. Be honest, and don’t try to cover it up. Don’t pass the blame, hold your hands up and explain why the issue has occurred – and critically, and before approaching the client, provide an alternative solution. This shows the client that you are doing your up-most to rectify a problem whether caused by you or not.
- Respond to a request as soon as possible even if it’s just an email reply to acknowledge the request has been seen and will be actioned
- A mark of a good player is the ability to improvise, but don’t lie or give false advice
- Always have the kettle on and the good biscuits at the ready… go the extra mile – Krispy Kreme are a sugary WINNER