5 ways to make your clients love you


Cape Town - Public Relations is all about communication and at the heart of communication is people, says Candice Hellriegel, Account Director at Epic MSLGROUP.

The values that underpin our relations with friends and colleagues should be the very same foundations that communication professionals base their client relationships on, in her opinion.

Hellriegel says building a solid relationship with a client creates a "win-win" situation: “While it’s important to always be professional, the basis of any human relationship is trust, communication, respect, dedication and personalisation.”

A positive relationship with a client is beneficial for many reasons.

“From an agency perspective, if a client is happy they are more likely to retain your services. In the event of budget restraints, the client may be more likely to look at readjusting the contract rather than simply cutting the budget entirely," says Hellriegel.

"In addition, making your clients happy opens up new business opportunities for the company as the client is more likely to recommend the agency to other businesses.”

Hellriegel provides the following guidelines on how communication agencies can make their clients love them:

Build trust

Show your client that you are invested in their success. Trust is the foundation for any prosperous relationship. By showing clients that you want the best for both them and their brand, they will learn to trust you to grow their brand.

Trust is about forming a partnership with your client and showing your client you’re 100% committed to their brand and its success. A good way to show this commitment is by taking the time to ensure you fully understand a brand’s offering, as well as its various stakeholders.

This means continually being on the lookout for opportunities to build the brand, be it in the media or across other strategic marketing channels. It could also mean foreseeing a possible crisis and putting a reputation management plan in place so that the client is prepared in the event that the worst happens.

Communication: Keep clients updated

By having constant and open dialogue, communication professionals can better understand the client’s expectations. Giving the client regular feedback on any developments and campaign results also assists in building trust.

Take the time to clarify any questions with the client immediately rather than going ahead without clear guidance to avoid misunderstandings and multiple reverts. Effective communication creates the opportunity to openly discuss successes and failures, as well as to learn from them.

By showing  your client that you are delivering will make him or her aware of the important role you play in the company’s brand building efforts.

Communication between individuals can be described as rich or lean. Face-to-face meetings or a telephone call are considered rich channels and are best for messages with potentially unclear meanings.

E-mails on the other hand are considered lean channels and are preferred for more routine messages. In successful relationships, communication professionals understand that both communication channels are necessary and know when and how to use them.

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