If your communication with clients is few and far between but you don’t hear any complaints, should you assume that you’re doing a fantastic job? No news is good news, right?
Your clients should never be Switzerland.
No news is, well, no news. Ambiguity is the achilles heel of client relationships. If a client is neither excited nor frustrated by what you’re doing for them, things need to change. When clients are over the moon about your services, they should be referring you to friends, emailing you accolades, and sending you gift baskets. Okay, the gift baskets are a bonus, but ‘happy’ is a relative term.
Radio silence doesn’t mean a client is happy. Even a frustrated client is better than an apathetic client. A frustrated client gives you feedback. A frustrated client makes sure that you won’t make the same mistakes twice by helping you fine tune or completely reinvent certain practices.
So what can you do to make sure that clients are either so happy they’re singing your praises or comfortable enough to ensure that they are giving you valuable feedback?
How to make sure you’re running a client-focused company:
Phone Calls and Emails: A Thing of the Past
Emails can be misconstrued. People can’t see you, they can’t hear your voice, they don’t know if your exclamation point is a sign of excitement or emphasis – and vice versa. “So hop on the phone,” you say. Nay. The phone isn’t much better. Body language isn’t apparent, tone can still be misconstrued and clients may be doing other things while you’re explaining away the fruits of your labor.
The solution? Either opt to meet with clients to review reports and campaign strategies in person, or use an online screen sharing software like Go-To Meeting. Why? Because you’ll have the client’s undivided attention. What gets lost verbally is won over visually. Sharing a screen with clients or explaining reports and campaigns in person ensures that clients are focused on you and how your business is serving them.
Be the Expert You Claim to Be
Stop asking clients what they want. Understand their business goals. Know their target demographic. Ask them where they’d like to be in a year, but never ask them what they want from you. They come to you because you’re the expert. You know how your services can benefit them. If they want to do something that you know won’t work for their business, don’t mollycoddle them, tell them it won’t work and why. If they have an idea for a website design, for example, that you know is not going to be user-friendly, don’t try to make it work for them. Give them a better option. Your clients don’t want a ‘yes’ person, they want results.
Don’t Be Scared of Asking for Feedback
Hearing that your company is not meeting needs is scary. But you know what’s scarier? Hearing nothing. Nothing can mean anything. It can mean that clients are happy, yes, but it can also mean that they’re looking around for a better company, that they don’t see or understand the value of your work, so they’re not asking questions. But when push comes to shove and they need to grow or cut back, you might find that the vast nothingness you’ve been enjoying from clients was an apathy toward your services. Your services get cut, and your client moves on.
Yes and No Questions Will Always Hurt You
Rather than broadly asking clients ‘if they’re happy with your services’ ask them pointed questions via a survey tool like Survey Monkey. Just say no to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions. They’re too easy to answer and you’re left with little actionable feedback.
Include questions like:
- Which of our services do you feel is most valuable to your campaign?
- What reporting metric means the most to your business?
- What areas do you think we can improve upon and why?
– Response time
– The structure of our reports
- What services should we consider offering to make your experience better?
- Are there aspects of our services that we haven’t explained properly?
Keep a log of responses and determine how to address issues quickly.
Think of Your Client First, Always
Revamping a new system? Think first of whether it’s an internal shift that your team likes the idea of or if it’s truly a valuable change for the client. For example, if you’re devising a new reporting structure, test it on someone outside of your industry. Someone who has as much knowledge of your business as your client does, but not as much as you. Does it make sense to them? Is it visually appealing? Is it overloaded with information? Don’t change just to change. Any and all changes should be purpose-driven.
Thank Your Clients
Your clients chose you over all of the other businesses out there. You’re the team they’re putting their faith and trust in. That’s big. Remember to be grateful for the business they’re giving you. Remember to be excited about them. Send them branded ‘thank you cards’ out of nowhere. Invite them out to a ‘thank you’ dinner. Surprise and delight your clients with your gratitude.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “How to Create a Dynamic Team”. Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business,contact us today.