Building a Better Client Relationship
Nowadays, digital marketing agencies in San Diego have to be much more than just another stellar marketing provider. While our online marketing efforts and successes are generally measured by achieving set goals and positively moving various metric needles, with all the San Diego marketing agency competition, working in the digital marketing industry also means that we are working in the people industry. That being said, it is more important now than ever, to have the ability to build trust and rapport with your clients, beyond the strategy and numbers.
Far too often I hear about a client that has jumped from one agency to another, not because they didn’t like the results they were seeing, but because they don’t connect or work well with the people in place that were running their campaign. This should not be happening as often as it does and could more often than not, be avoided by simply having the right account managers in place for a given client. By being able to build a relationship above and beyond the analytics, it will in return help strengthen your client retention rates, as well as, improve your overall communication and comfortability levels with the client. Thus, also improving the overall quality, smoothness, and success of the campaign.
How do you build this kind of trust and rapport you ask?
Well, maybe it’s sometimes not so easy, but it’s definitely not the hardest part of our job.
The best recommendation I can extend, that has been tried and true (just ask our Denver client, Block & Larder), is to truly begin thinking of and treat your client more like your business partners, rather than just another client. Indulge yourself in their company and industry as if it were your own. Show some initiative and be genuinely interested in the client’s business success, as well as, their personal well-being. They are human just like we are and a bond beyond numbers is often what it takes to build a successful, long-lasting partnership.
Invite them out to lunch every so often and chat about none work related subject. Find some common interest and share life stories with them. Treat it as the same type of team building you partake in within your agency. Send them yearly holiday cards and make it a point to celebrate monthly and/or quarterly wins together. Regardless of the size of the victory, a win is a win and it should be acknowledged as such. Let them see and make them feel, that they are more than just another client to you. They are your business partner and together you can help each other’s businesses grow. If they do well, there’s a great chance your agencies will do well, vice versa. Both of you and the client are reaching for success, why not achieve that goal by truly working together. Once they can connect with you on a personal level, the professional level will continue to follow and grow.
As fellow SEO Specialist, Sam Wheeler says, “Building a successful partnership takes initiative, try some creative ways to show effort in building a connection. Go beyond sending the traditional thank you email and extend a handwritten card, invest in personalized corporate merchandise, or even attempt to get together for a happy hour. Taking the additional step to secure a business relationship can create a long-lasting and stable partnership. Take note of small details about your client’s interests, be amicable and approach them as a friend of high importance. Cultivating a client relationship takes time and progress so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Consistently displaying gratitude and sympathizing with their concerns develops a comfortable form of communication. Go the extra mile and invest in new ways for building a strong partnership ultimately forming a team-oriented direction. Continuously seek several methods to connect with your client and not only strengthen client rapport, but also further develop your team communication skills.”
Working in the digital marketing industry also means we are in the people industry.
These days, trust and rapport are just as important as work and results but don’t take my word for it.
Give it a shot!
Start thinking of and treating your client’s business as if they were your own and see how it affects your agencies overall retention rate, client comfortability, and overall campaign stress levels.
I’m sure that over time, you will begin to see both parties happily pleased.