Thursday, February 15, 2007

Client Relations

As I am writing and codifying suggestions for client relations, I figured it's be a good thing to throw out on the blog. After all, if my competitors steal it, who benefits? The profession as a whole. Plus, I may get some good feedback.

Here are some of the concepts I am playing with:

Client Relations

One definition of service according to Webster’s is a) an act giving assistance or advantage to another is the b) the result of this benefit... an advantage. This is an ideal that we are striving to achieve as a company. Though we may not always meet these suggestions, they are a worthy goal. As such, when we cannot meet them, we will get up and try again. Here are some suggestions for execution of customer service:

* Be as friendly as possible. If external circumstances make us less than friendly, be cognizant of it, and be as professional as possible.
* Communicate. Check in calls and emails are a great way to maintain a strong relationship. Call once in a while just to say hi.
* Status reports once a week are optimal for large clients, and reports for implementations such as blogs are also necessary. Coverage reports after each public relations campaign are important, too.
* Go the extra mile to make things self explanatory. A client should not receive deliverables that require extensive explanations in order to comprehend them.
* If the client is going in a different direction than we’d like, make a suggestion with full reasoning behind it. Don’t just say yes, we’re paid for our professional opinion.
* If the client still prefers their direction, agree and execute to our fullest capability and do so with enthusiasm. It’s their business. Our job is to help them, not be right.
* Own mistakes, take measures to correct them and make prompt amends wherever necessary. A client needs to know about mistakes that can hurt their business.
* If deadlines are tight, go out of your way to inform the client. Try to give them 48 hours to approve something wherever possible.
* Don’t sell the client something that won’t benefit them. It’s better to acknowledge a good idea, but inform them the results may not be that great and their money would be better spent elsewhere.
* If a client needs something we cannot deliver, or if we are not the right company for them, let them know and find another service provider that can help them. Try to connect them to an answer.

There are more, but these represent the foundation of my thoughts.


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