Strong client communication is essential when it comes to being a successful agency. Whether you’re talking to your clients about an upcoming event over Zoom, emailing back and forth with them about a potential social media idea or meeting with them in-person to discuss the next big step, staying connected is key.
Thankfully, we have a remarkable accounts team that keeps all our departments in the loop when it comes to client work and projects. They are responsible for all direct communication with clients, review every client project and task and are the first to brainstorm strong solutions when it comes to growing a client’s bottom line. What would we do without them?
To gain some insight on the importance of client communication, we’ve enlisted the help of our account coordinator to provide us with his key takeaways when it comes to staying connected.
consistent & timely communication
Consistent and timely communication are key when building a strong relationship with a client—no one wants to be left on read, even in the professional world!
When a client messages you, be responsive. If for whatever reason, you don’t have the immediate answer, attempt to find it, and let the client know you’re looking into it. At a minimum, confirm receipt of the message and let them know you’re working towards a solution.
In the world of marketing, a project timeline can often be dotted with unforeseen changes and pivot points. It’s best practice to communicate changes and updates as you know them—not all information needs to wait until the next scheduled call.
effectiveness & efficiency
Successful client communication is grounded in effectiveness and efficiency—effectiveness in the sense of producing consistent outputs and efficiency in the sense of saving resources. When combined, these factors will result in manageable and measurable outcomes for the client.
Recently, I took a professional development course to continue honing my client communication capabilities. One of my most significant takeaways was the value of an Up-Front Contract, or UFC.
This type of UFC has nothing to do with fighting and everything to do with clear communication that leads to actionable next steps. UFCs are helpful tools that guide conversations to ensure all necessary items are discussed—this guarantees the meeting will remain focused.
Yes, it can be fun to begin a call with a little banter or a funny story, but who doesn’t love ending a meeting with time to spare? By communicating what will be discussed up front, clients have time to address any concerns or agenda additions prior to hopping on the call, leading to a more effective and efficient process. In the world of accounts, it all comes down to process!
UFCs can be beneficial at the end of a call too. Sharing a recap that explains what was discussed during a meeting is a solid strategy to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands what steps must be taken next. No one likes leaving a call puzzled as to what was accomplished—UFCs are an important tool to avoid post-meeting confusion. Don’t forget to send a follow up email with any materials discussed too!
Efficiency and effectiveness aren’t the only metrics for monitoring successful client communication. Trust is a key component as well. During my training, I learned a handy-dandy equation that maps out how to build rapport with clients.
Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy
So yes, I will confess, I’m prone to cracking a joke or engaging in some witty banter on a call, but there’s clearly more to the equation than just that. By focusing on producing consistent outcomes, credibility and reliability within client relationships will be built up over time.
Now you have the low-down on client communication from the accounts king himself. Just remember—timeliness, efficiency and trust are the three ingredients needed for a strong client relationship … and maybe a few laughs too.