Whether you work in marketing, retail, or hospitality, the success of your business hinges on the quality of your customer service. While a compelling proposition and attractive product offering can make an initial impact, genuine care for your customers is essential for cultivating lasting relationships. In an era where customer loyalty is increasingly scarce, the challenge lies in establishing and nurturing these connections.
At Evolved, we’ve nurtured long-lasting, trusted relationships through a genuine passion for wanting our clients to succeed. In this blog, I’ll discuss the details of our approach.
For us, building alliances ultimately starts with our values – pride, exceeding expectations, trust, transparency, ambition and community. They are at the absolute core of how we interact with and deliver for our clients.
3 main components to building lasting relationships
1. Trust, transparency and genuinely caring
Treat everyone equally regardless of budget. Your passion for your client’s success should be the same regardless of what their invoice looks like. Make sure that you are as invested in their goals as much as they are and be on the journey with them.
Becoming invested in your customers business and wanting them to succeed should blend into every collaboration you have. It feeds into everything you work on and filters down into campaign teams. You should know your customers so well that you can pre-empt when they’re going to question an approach and already be able to anticipate issues before they arise.
2. Stick to your word and be organised
If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
There is nothing more frustrating for a client than an agency that will sell them the world and not deliver, or withdraw after they’ve signed on the dotted line. So, our advice – show up. Whether it is something as little as sending over an agenda, turning up to calls on time or hitting deadlines, it’s so important to deliver consistency to demonstrate their importance to you. Marketers are busy, and agencies are often brought on to help ease the load, so don’t make your client’s lives more difficult.
3. Be responsive when sh*t hits the fan
Within marketing there are so many moving parts, things will go south and how you deal with the situation and respond to conflict can make a significant difference in maintaining client trust. Ownership is key – acknowledge any mishaps and be reactive with a fair approach to quickly provide solutions that everyone is comfortable with.
How to add extra value to your clients
Understanding a clients business and the goals they are trying to achieve can go a long way. By helping them look for solutions to problems, even if it isn’t in your wheelhouse, you are providing them with a partner to lean on.
Are they having problems with their tracking or struggling to convert through email? Go the extra mile and find alternative people or companies who can help. Do they need a Marketing Manager but don’t know where to start, help them write a job description or find a reliable recruiter. We’re all working towards the same goal and if you have ways you can support clients, share the information.
For example, recently one of our clients required a substantial amount of content to be uploaded to their website. Given their limited internal support, our Account Manager exceeded expectations by receiving training and successfully undertaking the task. This proactive effort not only demonstrated dedication but also relieved the client of significant stress during a challenging period.
Tips for nurturing relationships with clients
Communicate from day one
When a new client is introduced, set up an onboarding session as step one. Ask them to introduce you to their brand and the intricacies of their business, from supply chain to delivery. Understand what their 3-5 year plan is and how you can help support them in achieving their objectives.
Try not to re-ask questions that the Sales team have already asked during discovery meetings, instead digest your handover and ask more in-depth questions that really get to the heart of their business needs.
Face time with clients should be extremely important to your team, a Zoom call is never the same as sitting in the room with someone you have a relationship with. Bouncing ideas off each other always flows more naturally in person.
You also shouldn’t need a formal reason to see a client face to face so don’t wait for a review meeting, spend time in their office or pop in for a coffee and a catch-up when you can.
Evaluate opinions and criticisms
Gaining regular feedback from the outset of a strategy is essential to building and maintaining long-lasting relationships. Foster an environment between you and your client where they’re comfortable picking up the phone and telling you if they’re unhappy. Having open communication prevents issues from festering and allows you to fix potential issues quickly.
You don’t have to become best friends with every client – it’s impossible! However making the effort, making someone’s working day easier and treating people with respect and empathy go a long way in nurturing new relationships with long-standing clients.
It’s also nice to treat your clients to say thank you for maintaining a loyal partnership with you. At Evolved, we recently celebrated with one of our longest-standing clients of 5 years by showing them how us Gerordies go-kart. Showing your appreciation and expressing thanks for the relationships you’ve built is paramount to sustaining ongoing positive outcomes.
In summary, care.
If you would like to collaborate with a team that genuinely cares about your success, contact us today to discuss how we can help your brand.