The Dos and Don’ts of Client Communication
Displaying excellent client communication skills is a crucial aspect of any successful business. In fact, when executed with diligence, care and confidence, strong effective communication with clients can accelerate business growth exponentially. As a service-based digital agency, client services are at the heart of everything we do at Embryo, as we value the importance of maintaining relationships with clients and we always strive to exceed client expectations.
We pride ourselves on our personalised, competent, transparent and proactive approach to client servicing. If you’re wondering how to adapt methods of communication to suit the client and their needs, observe and digest our list of the do’s and don’t of customer service!
DO get to know your clients’ business and industries: Before the commencement of strategising and collaborating on projects or work for your clients, it is vital that first and foremost, you conduct extensive research into the industry that the business operates in. Take care to analyse their current position in the market, the target audience, how their competitors perform and how your client differentiates from alternative, similar companies. Showcasing your knowledge and thorough understanding of their business and market lets your client know that you care and are prepared.
DO be transparent: Honesty and integrity should be interwoven into all aspects of client communication. Practicing honesty, in the long run, helps maintain loyalty and avoids client dissatisfaction where issues can arise off the back of dishonesty. It is important to provide the correct updates and information at all times – truthfulness is a commodity in any client-facing business.
DO provide regular feedback and reports: Client retention is critical when it comes to running a successful business. It is essential that you represent yourself as indispensable to their operation. By regularly providing meticulous visual materials of data, your reports will ensure to keep clients notified of your progress. Not only do routine report meetings maintain interaction and enhance the relationship, it also assures the client that you are delivering the results they signed up for.
DO listen to your clients’ needs: All to regular, businesses project arrogance and knowledge onto their client, dictating how they plan to take the lead. Taking a consultative approach strengthens your relationship and allows your clients to collaborate with you every step of the way. By engaging clients throughout strategies and campaign proposals, your client’s core values, goals and requirements will be firmly embedded and adhered to in the work that you create.
DO remain professional and approachable: When communicating with existing or potential clients, the way in which you represent yourself and your company has a huge impact on your clients’ impressions. As simple as it sounds, positivity, smiles and good communication skills go a long way in ensuring that client satisfaction is achieved. Always pay close attention to body language and eye-contact, clients always feel assured if you appear confident, professional and attentive.
DO respond quickly: Setting the target to respond promptly to enquiries, invitations or any other business matter should be a fundamental element of all communication strategies. This involves ensuring that out-of-office responses are switched on where applicable, always answering the phone during office hours and setting expectations so that the client knows when to expect an answer. You should always acknowledge receipt of enquiries or emails from your clients, even if you can not directly respond to them immediately. What is important is providing a time-scale (and keeping to it) to ensure your client stays updated.
The all-important don’ts
DON’T make assumptions: It is highly important to make sure that everything you do is done correctly, to accomplish this, you should take great care in asking questions and gathering accurate information. If you are ever unsure about details surrounding the business or the requirements they might have, it is always better to clarify. Never feel embarrassed about asking too many questions – it is better to get it right, than to assume and be incorrect.
DON’T hide from poor performance: In the majority of client-facing roles, most people are always quick to announce their marketing success to their client. However, when it comes to strategies which don’t quite achieve what you’d hope, it’s very common to hide until things perk up. It’s absolutely crucial that you’re consistently transparent about both the ups and downs of marketing. Notifying a client when things are going bad and providing them with an improvement strategy will help build trust and a long lasting client relationship.
DON’T lose your temper: Although it’s an obvious ‘don’t’, it’s critically important that you always maintain a high level of professionalism when working with clients. A client’s behaviour can often be challenging to manage, therefore it’s essential that you find ways to deal with these situations in a calm and composed manner. Challenging clients are often the ones which end up improving your client communication skills, after all, if all client’s were a breeze to manage, we wouldn’t be as well equipped in a client facing situation.
DON’T be a robot: Client communication doesn’t always have to be serious, it’s vital that you personalise your communication style. If there’s one thing that helps build a solid relationship and ultimately, keep your client happy, it’s showing an interest in them as well as their business.
DON’T miss deadlines: Arguably one of the most important aspects of managing clients. Best practice for both account managers and client services managers would be to communicate a specific date for task completion with the client. Once the client is happy with the deadline, it’s key that you aim for completion at least 1 or 2 days before the deadline, not only to impress the client, but to account for any amendments the client may have.
Here at Embryo, we are passionate about sharing the knowledge and expertise of our talented team. We are dedicated to working together in delivering blogs that are informative and educational about the digital marketing industry. As a result, we are creating a series of blogs written collaboratively between our team members – this one being written by Content Executive, Shona Worsman and PPC Account Manager, George Noon.