Clients are the lifeblood of any company that provides a service for others – whether you’re a web development, branding, design, or marketing agency. Without your client base, you wouldn’t have a business. It really is as simple as that. This is why providing great value to your customers means more than just delivering the work they ask for on-time, and to a high standard. If you want your clients to keep coming back to your marketing agency and recommend you to others, you should be taking the time to build great relationships with each and every one of your clients.
Developing great relationships with your clients may seem like a time-consuming process if your agency works with multiple companies and your team is juggling a number of different projects at once, but it’s actually relatively simple. It’s about gaining a deep understanding of your client (both as a company and the faces behind the brand), ensuring that on-going communication is maintained, and building trust by offering complete transparency – even when things don’t quite go to plan.
Remember, having a strong relationship with your customers can make all the difference when it comes to them making a decision about whether they want to continue working with you further down the line. If you don’t offer your clients a level of care and attention that goes beyond that of your competitors, then you risk losing their loyalty.
Here are some of the most important steps you can take to build great relationships with your client base, so you can continue to call them your customers for years to come.
It goes without saying that when you’re about to start working with a new client, your first priority should be to find out as much as you can about them. In fact, conducting thorough research into their company (and their biggest rivals) before you sit down together for the first time is sure to impress them and let them know that your team is attentive and ready to go above and beyond to help them achieve their aims. This is especially apparent if you come armed with some ideas of what you can do for them right from the start.
However, while it’s all well and good knowing that their business provides business landscaping services, is based in London and wants to improve their Google rankings, you should also get to know the actual people you will be working with on a personal level too.
Great customer relationships are built on a foundation of trust, and one of the simplest ways to develop this is by forging a friendship and connection with your client base. When you meet them for the first time, ask them about themselves and make a mental note of what they share with you – for example, if they have a dog or they happen to be training for a marathon, ask them about this the next time you have a call to run through their report. It may seem obvious, but when your communications with clients are centered around the work you’re doing for them, gestures like this can be easy to forget – and they can go a long way in helping to establish the level of care and attention you aim to provide for them.
Understanding your clients’ goals in great detail is key to delivering work that is going to make a difference – and this is true no matter what marketing services they have requested from your agency. However, instead of just learning about what they want to achieve from the specific work your team is doing, you should also seek out what their overarching goals as a company are, when they hope to achieve them, and how they are aiming to do so. If you’re aware of this, you can go the extra mile to ensure that every piece of work you do for them is in line with these goals and will bring them a step closer to achieving them.
You can even use this information to recommend other complementary services your marketing agency can offer to help them turn these goals into a reality – as long as they are a good fit and not just a way to sell unnecessary additional work to them. Remember, this shouldn’t simply be a way for you to gain additional revenue and repeat business, but to demonstrate to your clients that you really do want them to succeed.
Tip: Need to put together a brief for a new client you’re about to start working with? Ayoa has a free Client Project Brief template which is incredibly useful for you to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It can be easily shared with your clients in Ayoa and has dedicated sections for you to add useful information about their business, clarify their goals, define the actions you are going to take as part of the project, and how you plan to measure your results.
As we’ve already explained, trust and communication are key to building strong relationships with your client base. So, how can you encourage them to put their trust in you and ensure that they are happy with your work? By asking them directly. Instead of waiting until you need to send them a draft to check or run through their monthly report to hear their feedback, getting in touch with each and every one of your clients (on a weekly basis, if possible) will enable you to ensure that if there are any issues or concerns, then these will be resolved instantly.
This can be done by picking up the phone, arranging a video meeting, or sending them a quick email or instant message, depending on which mode of communication they prefer. If you don’t know what this is for each contact, then ask them the next time you check in with them.
However, one challenge that this presents is that you and your clients are busy, and they may not always have time to sit down for a 30-minute chat with you each week. This is where the likes of work management and client collaboration software come in handy. Ayoa, for example, makes working with others incredibly easy. It offers the ability to create idea and project boards that can be shared with anyone, and those with access can add their own comments, notes, attachments, and more. This means your clients can see every task your team is working on and what your progress is, as well as provide instant feedback on your work and ask questions when needed.
Tip: As well as the ability to collaborate on whiteboards, mind maps and task boards, Ayoa also offers instant messaging and video calling features to help you stay in touch with any clients that have an Ayoa account. The best thing is, it’s free to sign up!
It’s all well and good sending your client a detailed report at the end of each month, but how can you truly demonstrate the value you’re bringing them and build a great relationship that is built on trust if they don’t understand the results they’re seeing? With this in mind, try to keep your reports as clear, simple and straight-to-the-point as you can – and if you’re not doing so already, taking the time to talk your clients through their report and what everything means is a great way to ensure that you’re providing complete transparency.
In Ayoa, we have a free premade Client Report template for you to use to quickly create colorful, visual reports that are easy to understand while containing all the information you need to get your clients up to speed. With sections for you to outline your results, what work has been done that month, and what is due to be done next, you can avoid confusion and ensure that everyone is clear on what has been agreed. By sharing this report with your clients in Ayoa, they can also add comments and sticky notes if they need information clarified or wish to request changes to the plan.
Don’t lose clients by making the simple mistake of not taking the time to develop great relationships with them. With collaboration at the core of Ayoa, you can ensure that your in-house team and any external companies you work with are clear about what is being done and when – so you can ensure 100% customer satisfaction. Sign up for free today or compare our paid plans to ensure you choose the best one for you.
We can also provide a personalized one-on-one demo for your team if you want to find out more about how Ayoa can help your design or marketing agency. Click here to book your free demo!
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