Client relations can be a hassle no matter the industry. It can get especially tough for PR and marketing agencies. “The customer is always right” is something that might work in retail, but for a PR representative, those words might be unpleasant to hear.
In any given agency, you might change a lot of customers in just a year. You’ll run into those that are completely fine with giving you the keys to their car. But, you’ll also meet some customers who are fearful of letting you do your job without them interfering in every smallest part of the process.
Handling a pushy client that feels like they “know” marketing can be challenging. They might decline a proposition you’ve worked on for weeks. It can be defeating having your work rejected quickly, sometimes even without a proper explanation. Clients can be unkind, but it’s likely because they don’t trust your abilities yet. Maybe they ran into some unprofessional agencies in the past, making them wary of you, too.
This is why you must gain their trust. Of course, having great results is the best way to do it, but there are other paths. They need to acknowledge that you are on their team, you share a common goal and you are willing to go out of your way to help them.
We think these 4 ideas might help you build a killer relationship with any type of client:
- Arrange a virtual lunch meeting
- Feature them on social media
- Use infographics, creative and funny content in your presentations
- Send them personalized handwritten cards
#1 Arrange a virtual lunch meeting
We are all still learning to adapt to this current situation. Last year changed the way things are working for a lot of us. Even though we’re prevented from meeting face to face, that doesn’t mean we can’t have lunch together.
Sharing a meal is certainly a good way to build a great relationship. Restaurants are closed for guests, but you can still invite clients to a lunch meeting using a webinar platform you prefer. Set up a lunch meeting, but don’t let them bring their own food. Instead, prior to the meeting, send them a coupon or a 20$ gift card to a local restaurant. This way you’re also helping them support the local community!
Clients appreciate a good bonding experience. You’ll likely connect in a meaningful way.
#2 Give them a shout-out on social media
Social networks are an integral part of all modern humans’ lives. Most likely your client has got a profile on at least one social network. A great way to enhance your relationship is by praising your client publicly.
For example, after you’ve finished a project with a client, or a campaign, feel free to do a shout-out and showcase the work you’ve done for them on social media. Making a post about them, or mentioning them in your posts will make your clients feel special. Featuring them when posting about your best projects may result in them feeling important and one of your primary clients.
Pro tip: Create a post to celebrate a business anniversary with any of your clients!
#3 Use creative “memes” and funny videos in your presentations
Business meetings, as we all probably know, can get fairly lethargic. Many companies follow the same routine of presenting campaign proposals which are done the same every time. This can get boring, to say the least.
Like in a love relationship, you need to spice things up. Think about adding funny examples using videos or even the evermore popular “memes”. Sure, you can’t use this with every client considering there can be a generational gap. The truth is, industries are changing and the younger generations are taking over.
A lot of the decision-makers are avid users of social media, and most of them encounter or even enjoy popular memes and funny short videos. That’s why we suggest trying out a couple of them in your next presentation.
This way, you will stand out to your client and you might connect on a deeper level, allowing your relationship to grow strong. They’ll likely gain trust and enjoy working with you, resulting in more space to do your work the best you can.
#4 Write them personalized cards for celebrations
Businesses realize how important personalization is today. Users are overwhelmed with spammy, robotic messages and notifications they get daily. That’s why businesses started using personalization strategies in their communication. There are these automated messages which can draw the name from the lead and use it in the email/message, making it feel like it’s personally written for them. But users started catching up on this too, realizing that this also can be an artificial communication.
But there’s no doubt about a handwritten card. When is the last time you’ve received a written message? While that was a regular way of communicating 20 years ago, today, you rarely hear of it. This is why writing a handwritten card to your client might do wonders in raising your relationship to another level.
There are 4 reasons why handwritten cards might help you:
- Mailed letters get opened, while emails might not
- Handwritten letters are rare, making your company stand out
- Cards and letters are often kept, helping your clients remember you longer
- Emails feel impersonal, handwritten card feel VERY personal
While small businesses can easily manage to write a few handwritten cards for clients, larger organizations maybe don’t have the time or resources to write cards for so many clients. But there is a tool that can help the process. We suggest you use Handwrytten as they’ve created a robot that mass produces a lot of handwritten cards. The results are impressive as you can’t figure out that it was written by a robot, instead of a human hand.
Having a healthy relationship with clients means the world for a PR agency. Having them on your side can help you work better and with less pressure. You should aim to reach a point where your communication is positive and constructive.
Achieving that level requires that both sides are willing to improve the relationship. But you can set the tone with creative ideas that can make your clients feel delighted to work with you.