Good customer relationships matter. Excellent relationships with clients are what we all should strive for. Unfortunately, agencies can become oblivious to signs that—well—they’re becoming off-putting without realizing it.
There you are, doing everything to collaborate, exceed expectations, and meet project goals. At least that’s what it seems like from your perspective. Yet, are your clients happy? Are they fed up: teetering on the edge of breaking up with you?
Our team at ArachnidWorks has put together a few of our favorite ways not to annoy clients and how to build lasting relationships.
Communicate, Communicate, and—Our Favorite—Communicate
How’s your response time? There isn’t a hard and fast rule when returning business phone calls or emails, yet not responding within 24–48 hours will put you on the client’s naughty list. The best way to avoid their frustration is to clarify communication processes during onboarding, block time during your day to respond to those who reach out, and verify you’ll get back with them in greater detail if you can’t promptly touch each point of concern.
Wait, You Wanted to be Involved?
Sometimes we get so busy doing the work and making it awesome that we forget about the most essential input—the client’s. We know it’s not intentional, but creatives can become mini silos churning out content. That can leave our customers feeling iced from the process. The last thing you want to cause is friction and distrust, right? The best ways to avoid giving clients the cold shoulder is to keep them involved, specify roles and expectations on both ends during onboarding, use collaboration software when appropriate, and set routine check-in appointments.
You’re Not the Boss of Me!
Well, they are the client, so they kind of are friends.
Customers come to you for your help, knowledge, and expertise. They do not come to you to make them feel small, uneducated, or like a nuisance. You know how to get their brand noticed and make their product sing. The thing is, no one likes a know-it-all. Be the person who invites the client to speak freely, listens to them intently, and never overpromises or overreaches to impress. Own up to it, apologize immediately, and make it right if something goes wrong on your watch.
Have you heard the expression about how words are like toothpaste? Once they come out, you can’t squeeze them back in. Using buzzwords, jargon, or acronyms you understand doesn’t mean your client knows what you’re referring to. Also, phrases like “to be honest” or “I understand your concerns, but…” or the all-time fave “with all due respect” can give clients the wrong idea. Unless you’re speaking the same industry language, never use words and phrases that alienate, be careful of certain words and phrases that could offend, and fight the urge to have the last word. Sometimes restraint, even when responding is warranted, says more than words ever could.
It’s a Date!
Deadlines matter. Period. End of story. Not delivering on time or sticking to agreements frustrates clients. They’ve made launch plans internally and externally based on your deliverables. Hiccups do happen, yet only promise what you know you can hand over promptly. Communicate immediately when there’s a bump in the process. Help keep those deadlines intact by looking ahead for obstacles during the creation timeline. It’s better to turn over work early to an ecstatic customer than explain why it’s late.
At ArachnidWorks, we’re in the business of giving our clients the best experience possible, from that first handshake to the celebratory launch of your project. Ready to put our experienced teams to work for you? Contact us now.