With more and more PR agencies cropping up, it can prove hard for agencies to protect their competitive edge and improve their bottom line. Yesterday’s strategies are becoming obsolete almost overnight, increasing the pressure on PR leaders to come up with new strategies and ideas to help their agency thrive in such a challenging landscape.
One of the best ways in which PR professionals can succeed is through the implementation of a solid client collaboration strategy. If you are interested in learning more about this and the benefits you can achieve through it, then this article is for you.
What do we mean by “client collaboration”?
Before we discuss the advantages that you can expect to gain through an effective client collaboration strategy, let’s clarify what “client collaboration” means in the first place.
Think about it like this. Until recently, most companies focused on finding the best way to communicate with their clients.
Whether through chatbots, call center platforms, or other similar means, top-notch client communication was the top priority for many, but the truth is that things are becoming a lot more complex and challenging than this.
In a world where clients expect increasingly more—more interaction, more personalization, more real value—from agencies, communication alone is no longer enough: it’s time to move on to client collaboration.
Collaboration brings an extra element to the table—actively involving your clients with every step of your strategy planning instead of simply the initial stages.
By collaborating with clients instead of simply talking to them, agencies and professionals across the PR industry can craft more authentic, valuable, and compelling client experiences.
This, in turn, enables agencies to reap a series of incredible benefits, as we will soon find out.
How to introduce client collaboration
To establish a clear and effective client collaboration strategy, agencies have a wide range of tools, channels, platforms, and practices to choose from, including:
- Active collaboration software
- Social listening
- Quizzes, polls, and surveys
- Client reviews, feedback, and testimonials
- In-depth meetings along the entire planning process
- Live streams with Q&A sessions
To make sure that the strategy performs at its best, it’s a good idea to combine two or more of the elements listed above, depending on the client’s goals and requirements.
Similarly, it’s also recommended to work with advanced CRM for sales software to gather, store, and access all the relevant client information at the touch of a button.
Finally, it’s important to ensure that client communication and information exchange are secure. To this end, agencies can also consider incorporating secure client portals into their collaboration strategy. These portals provide a safe and reliable way for clients to access and share sensitive information, such as financial data, legal documents, or intellectual property.
The top five benefits of client collaboration
Now, let’s delve deeper into some ways in which a solid client collaboration strategy can help agencies improve their bottom line.
1. Know what works—and keep improving
With a bulletproof client collaboration strategy in place, agencies can dig deeper into what works, what doesn’t work so well, and how they can keep improving to truly and fully satisfy their clients.
Because collaborating with clients doesn’t simply mean asking “yes” and “no” questions but actively engaging clients in the creative and productive process (consider using a web caller for ease of communication), you can gain invaluable insights into how they perform and what your clients really want, need, and expect from them.
2. Strengthen client loyalty and retention
What happens when a company consistently delivers fantastic strategies or services that delight its clients and genuinely provide them with value?
You’ve guessed it: those happy clients keep coming back for more. But there’s more: clients who are continually satisfied with what a brand offers are also more likely to recommend that brand to other people, thus triggering a virtuous circle that brings in fresh business opportunities on a regular basis.
3. Anticipate future needs and desires
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could predict the future and know, exactly, what will make our clients happiest and most satisfied?
Well, good client collaboration can help you uncover the information you need to uncover your clients’ hidden desires, future expectations, and unmet needs before your competitors. It will also help future strategies when you truly understand what your client is looking for.
4. Sell better (and upsell)
When you know what your clients want, you are in a much better position to actually sell it to them—as well as to upsell.
Upselling simply means introducing an option or service that costs slightly more than the one presented initially but also delivers more value.
If clients feel involved, engaged, and empowered through your collaboration strategy, they will also be much more inclined to check out your higher-end offerings and, more often than not, opt for those instead of the lower-tiered ones.
5. Smash your launches
Few things are as crucial and overwhelming at the same time as the launch of a new strategy. The pressure is high, the stakes are higher, and the expectations often seem out of reach. Clients want a perfect launch experience. Even something as small as having the wrong domain names available for their website can sour the entire experience.
But if you have worked closely with some of your clients to craft a perfect strategy from start to finish, then the chances are high that they will be a real success.
Involving clients in the pre-launch process, in fact, has the potential to really understand what they want from you, how they expect you to deliver it, and whether or not your prototype works.
Improve your bottom line with a powerful client communication strategy
If you already have a great marketing and PR strategy and are about to add a client collaboration strategy, too, the chances are that your company is in a great position to thrive and overtake its competitors.
Why? Because as we have seen in this article, a client communication strategy today is an indispensable tool if you want to boost client loyalty, nail your future launches, and keep delivering excellent services.