90 experts delivered their best tips on delivering bad news without losing the trust and integrity of your most important business relationships.
Marketing | Feb 19
Matt Black on June 2, 2016 • 4 minute read
To retain your top clients, you’ve got to make them feel special…
I can hear you now… “okay, that’s obvious though…”
And yet, so many companies fail to go the extra mile and make big impressions by doing the little things right.
Don’t forget: your clients are expecting you to deliver on the focal points of the projects you work on together.
It’s all of the stuff in between that really makes the difference.
Here are a few strategies you can use to show your clients you’re the real deal.
You have to know what your client wants even before they know they want it.
That might sound cliche, but it has never been more true in today’s uber-competitive marketplace. With countless agencies vying for your client’s dollars, to be the best, you’ve got to understand their needs better than everybody else.
This means doing your research, investing more time than you ever have, and taking the extra steps to maintain your knowledge of the hurdles your client is facing in their industry, geographic region, offices, etc.
You should get to the point where you’re constantly offering up ideas that your client feels are great, but that they haven’t even considered – that’s when you know you’re truly operating at your highest capacity.
In many cases, the data you measure can steer you in the right direction and help you plot out your next moves. By demonstrating the ability to anticipate your client’s needs, the relationship you build together will be based on trust rooted in results.
That’s the key, though – you’ve got to deliver.
As long as you help your clients achieve their intended results, they’re never going to know you’ve got a million and one other things on your plate.
If you strive to under promise and over deliver, you’re going to be met with smiles and perhaps more importantly, repeat business and referrals. In business, no matter the industry, beaming testimonials might as well be gold bars.
Even under pressure, you’ve always got to be a duck – on the surface, you’re calm and collected… but down below? You’re paddling furiously to ensure that you exceed client expectations and deliver on your promises.
Building accountability and trust is the only way to retain your clients and ensure that they are going to be pleased with your efforts on their behalf.
This also means that you’ve got to be honest and transparent – even if it’s in regards to something you know that your client isn’t going to necessarily like. Focusing in on the metrics that matter and showing clients the whole story up front will save you from any unnecessary miscommunications.
You’re only costing yourself money, time and energy by setting unrealistic expectations.
The bottom line is this: you’ve got to stay true to your word and deliver what your client wants.
These are the crumbs that will lead you to success and client satisfaction.
Every single time a client complains or criticizes your work or approach, consider this a roadmap to success.
Whether it’s a new social media campaign or overhaul of their website, your client should at the very least understand what they’re trying to accomplish. If they don’t outline this before you start the project, listen for it in their feedback… because it’s there!
The truth about complaints is that they should be seen as an opportunity, not a setback.
When a client isn’t thrilled with what you’ve delivered, learn from your mistakes and do whatever it takes to make them happy – based on their guidance through criticism.
If you’re working with somebody who’s a professional, they will be able to spell out exactly the results they’re expecting from you.
From there, it’s up to you to deliver in creative ways that fit their business goals.
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