Your clients are important to your business—so make sure they know it! I’ve been in the business world for a couple of years now and have experienced many different ways to build and maintain client relationships.
Here are a few things I have learned:
1. Your clients are people too, so treat them that way.
Include friendly memos in emails, ask them how their weekend was, or show interest in their hobbies outside of work. These conversations can take the stress of off work, and just show your clients that you care about them as a person. One of my clients adopted a puppy over the holidays, so when I sent their holiday gift, I included some dog toys!
2. Do more than the bare bones minimum.
Yes, it’s your job, but it’s important to show your client that you care about their success. Keep an eye out for industry trends and bring them new ideas. It shows you care about their business and are willing to go above and beyond. In my daily routine after I read through emails, I check a few favorite industry blogs to see if anything has popped up that I should share with my clients.
3. Take them out and treat them too.
In the world of text and email, face-time is always good. Schedule your next meeting at the local coffee shop, or take them to lunch after you have a project brainstorm. I like to schedule meetings at 11am so when you’re finishing up, it’s about noon. It’s a great segue into going out to lunch.
4. Make yourself available—even if it’s after 5pm.
Okay, it’s not the ER but it won’t kill you to send an email or two after usual business hours. If you have a deadline for a project, make sure you meet the deadline by making yourself available a little earlier in the morning or a little later in the evening. The responsiveness and willingness to spend the extra time to get the project done will really win you some brownie points with your client. I recently had a deadline for a project and knew I had to put in some extra hours. I made myself available 30 minutes earlier in the mornings during the course of the project to have status updates with my client.
5. Never say, “That’s not my job.”
It’s the worst thing you can say to your client. Granted, some assignments may be out of scope, but if your client asks you a question about a potential new project, take a few minutes to look into it. They obviously hired you for a reason and look to you for valuable insight. One of my clients sent me an email about an email marketing system that peaked their interest. Even though the system was not the right fit for my client, I took the time to look into it and provided a recommendation.
How do you build and maintain your client relationships? Feel free to share your comments below.
Posted by Sarah Prokopchak, Account Coordinator at initiate-it, a fully committed, fully prepared, full-service agency in Richmond, Virginia. Sarah has been working with initiate-it for over two years on a variety of client accounts including Sandler, VCU Health and CarLotz.