Top tips to establish long term client relationships
As a digital agency not only we care about the work that we provide, first and foremost we care about our clients and we focus on establishing long term client relationships. Sometimes, those can be difficult and, maintaining or retaining a client can be quite tricky however, it is much better than finding a new client. Here there are some tips for long client relationships.
Nurturing a client creates some sort
of sense of loyalty.
Another thing that we make sure to remember is to “forget” how big is the job that we are attending to. In reality, a job from a client can be really small to us, but for our client can be extremely important.
At Digital Redesign, we approach, every single proposition with the same amount of care and enthusiasm, so next time a client may return with even a bigger or better proposition. It is also particularly important to maintain an incredibly good relationship with your client and being able to make yourself available whenever they need you, obviously, to a reasonable extent.
In order to keep your clients happy, it is important that you respond to the queries, as fast as you can and make sure that you have time for meetings, conference calls, and things like that. Not answering an email from a client will put you down the list of the favorite agencies/suppliers and if they are in a hurry, they will definitively will be looking for the services somewhere else.
Adapt and be flexible.
The other strong point to consider is that every client is different. So, whatever approach, you have got to the relationship you have to make sure that you adapt accordingly. So for instance, you have to be committed to the client, but also the project, in all the different stages that the client might be in.
Don’t have expectations, work on them!
Treat each job as the last one and never assume that they are going to be continuously asking for more business. In fact, put 120% of your effort in the actual project. They will be extremely happy and they will appreciate if you complete the project on time and also on budget, because as we know, sometimes estimates can deviate from the original figure.
Having said that, it is important that you let your client know that you would love to carry on doing some work for them if they actually have some spare things you can help them with things that they might not be even aware of, things that they either overlooked and you could do, or strategies or tools that can be implemented to improve their business. It is always better to have a chat with them so they are aware that you can help them further, instead of them going somewhere else for help.
Be crystal clear.
To keep the relationship healthy make sure that you are always transparent about everything that you talk to them; from the budget, to the estimate, the number of hours, the problems that may have encountered down the line with the project.
Some companies try to avoid this sort of conversation with their clients thinking that, if is hidden under the carpet it never happened and basically they can hope for the best. Being transparent allows you to build up trust and respect that the customer will appreciate and therefore will generate a relationship of loyalty. If you do any mistakes just tell them, we’re all humans and as long as you identify a mistake, you can also rectify it, which is something that they will really appreciate long term.
Don’t let them look anywhere else.
It is your choice and commitment, but make sure you become somehow like a shadow, irreplaceable. If there’s an opportunity for you to offer more than just your services do it! People appreciate when someone else’s business care as much about their own business themselves. Whenever you can help them to build stronger relationships and act as an extension of their plans finding them new businesses and opportunities.
Another important thing to take into consideration is if you ever lose a client. These things happen, but it can be quite important to find out why that happened. So, try to get as much feedback as possible and don’t ever let the situation, let you down. You can learn valuable lessons and hopefully avoid any mistakes that you have done and that you can potentially repeat on the next client. Make sure you always act professionally, take responsibility for what you do on your actions. Any good things, and any bad things: don’t ever blame the client!
Keep your antennas on
Make sure you always listen to the client and avoid telling them what to do, or how to think about a situation. It is much better to make suggestions rather than imposing ways of action.
Last, but not least…
Ultimately although you always should try to keep a good relationship with your client, don’t ever forget that you are there to advise them and sometimes that might mean telling the clients when they are wrong and things that they don’t want to hear. If you avoid doing this, you will be breaking that loyalty and by doing so you will be doing your client and your business a disservice.
If you want to read other best practices and tips for long client relationships, please visit this link from Forbes.
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