How we communicate is critical to how our relationship with clients progresses. It requires fully immersing yourself in the client’s brand & business; and understanding not only what they offer, but what their customers need.
Over the years I’ve found that these six things have not only solidified my relationships with our clients, but have helped them successfully grow their businesses.
Our clients face uncertainty and challenges in their businesses and we need to know about those challenges for help to solve their problems. As relationship owners we should empathize with their struggles and learn to understand the different points of view clients hold and the challenges they face. It’s our job to care about what keeps them up and night and to help them by providing solutions.
As marketing experts, it’s also our job to bring our client’s story to life. That means no matter what we tell clients’ stories authentically, creatively and consistently through all of the marketing channels we have on offer from digital ads, to video content to website messaging. We help clients tell authentic stories in interesting, often artistic, ways that ring true to their employees and their customers.
For our clients to be most successful, as marketers we have to help them answer the ‘why’ of their business to their customers. To help clients define their purpose, it’s the client service team that has to ask the tough questions including the highs and lows, obstacles and problems, goals and benefits and more. We explore these questions with our clients to form an overarching strategy and a detailed plan of action.
Since time is our most limited resource, we have to use our time wisely to determine the difference between what is urgent and what will help our client’s business grow. Every day, it is our role to always focus mainly on what is important first. The ‘important’ must always come first because it’s what drives results.
As an account services lead, I instinctively want to make our clients happy. What is more important than pleasing the client, is by doing the right thing to help the client achieve their goals and run a successful business. Conflict is inevitable, but it can be overcome by clear, honest, purposeful communication. The client has hired us after all for our marketing expertise and we must directly explain what will and won’t work in marketing their brand. When conflict arises, it is our job to reframe the conversation using problem solving questions and resetting priorities.
There is no such thing as bad feedback. Account leads should actively seek feedback from everyone you work with including clients, colleagues and managers. You can and should seek as much feedback from everyone you work with, and you can define the feedback you want from co-workers, managers and clients. There are three kinds of feedback: coaching (to help you grow), evaluation (to help you understand how you are doing in relation to a specific project or job), and appreciation (to motivate and encourage). Feedback will help you grow, help you to understand how the project and agency team has performed, and what positive feedback can be gleaned to motivate and encourage the team.
Account service leads are well positioned to drive the tone of conversations between marketing agency and client, help shape agency culture, and deliver excellence daily. We are agents of change and communication, and help to deliver the best results for our clients. I hope these six things help to solidify your relationships with your clients.