Building a good relationship as an agency with a client or customer is not always easy. However, it is essential as it builds trust and helps you create great ideas and strategies for them.
Clients or customers are arguably the most essential aspect of a business. Without them, your business would be non-existent. But have you ever struggled to build a good relationship with a client or customer? We’ve all been in the same boat then! It’s not always easy, but so necessary!
According to Wordstream, a search marketing company, “Strong client relationships make for greater success with projects and campaigns, loyal clients who stay with you longer and refer new clients, and a better reputation for your brand. Even better, they make everyday work more enjoyable for all.”
Let’s explore some ways to help you build and maintain stronger, long-lasting client and customer relationships.
Communication is key
Without it, you’re doomed! Honesty is vital in any agent-client relationship. Agencies often tend to hide things away from their clients, but the client sees right through this. Clients know the objectives, goals, and results they would like to achieve, so it’s essential to be open and honest. Be open, honest, and transparent about everything and give everyone the complete picture from the start. Honesty should come from both sides! The more time you spend together and communicate, the more the likelihood of a solid relationship.
Trust is earned
WARC, an advertising and research centre believes, “Trust is the pinnacle of any relationship when genuine collaboration occurs between teams, and there’s a total belief in each other’s capabilities. This phase is where outcomes can become genuinely game-changing for client and agency – but it’s not a static destination. Like any relationship that has reached apparent harmony, it can lead to complacency and underperformance if not nurtured.”
They explain the agency/client relationship as four phases:
- Transaction: Contracts are signed.
- Foundation: The vision for both parties is stipulated and agreed on.
- Belief: Mutual confidence emerges.
- Trust: To get the most out of the relationship, trust should emerge.
We believe trust is built over time, but both sides need to be willing to fully trust the other party. Trust should grow and be nurtured into something infallible.
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Authenticity and transparency
Be authentic and transparent about who your brand is and what values you stand for. Though we may not be activists in the traditional sense, consumers always pay attention to what a brand is saying and promoting on their channels. Be real. People can always spot when something doesn’t quite ring true. This is particularly true for millennials, with more and more millennials wanting brands to align with them on values.
Be active on digital channels
Be present and consistent on your digital and social media channels. This means creating great content, engaging with your fans, and resolving any issues they may bring to your attention quickly. Brands should not only be consistent in their content and customer service but also in terms of their messaging. Brands that flip flop between different key messages and the communication they put out are difficult to trust.
Understand your client or customer and their needs
Always make an effort to understand your audience, customer, or client. Use historical data and insights to make sure your messaging is relevant and resonates with your client or customer. Every time.
Give your client or customers a reason to smile
Give your customers a reason to smile. In simple terms, delight them, thank them and “show up”! The more time you spend with clients and customers, the better! See your agency as a trusted advisor, an extension of your marketing department.
The first place to start is always to get to know your client intimately - the rest will just fall into place. You should never be afraid to ask questions or even present an idea the client doesn’t necessarily like. There is by now enough trust to go back to the drawing board and present new ideas.
Always remember: people want to deal with people! They want to know you’re there, and they want to know you care.
If you’d like to find out how to strengthen your relationships, book some time with us!