Managing client expectations is something you learn to do very early on as an Account Manager. I’ve had the honour of learning from the veterans in the company, which is why this éminence grise of the article isn’t me but Broadplace’s seasoned account managers.
Consistency is important because we tend to judge things based on comparison. The level of service should be consistent for your client – this includes things such as: feedback, information you provide, speed of response, support, report dates, etc.
- Don’t sell for the sake of selling
Yes, the agency needs to upsell in order to increase revenue and grow the business however selling services to your clients for the sake it and not in the belief that it will benefit them can sometimes lead to a deterioration in trust and confidence in the agency and affect your working relationship.Having said that, it’s important that you believe in something in order to sell it. It sounds cheesy, but by selling what benefits them, it becomes possible for you to follow through with the services that you sold and see positive performance. A sale on weak grounds will only make you seem incompetent and unable to provide what you promised.
- Understand that they want the best for their business
Just like you, they want the best for their business, and they might not always understand that what you do is best for their business. It does take a lot of communication and trust for them to give you money to advertise in place of their company.
An example is brand campaigns, a multitude of clients have asked about why we insist on spending money on brand campaigns. Why should they pay for a click when someone searches for their company by name? There are a handful of reasons for this, outlined in a previous blog post of mine.
- Keep it Real
People love to give guarantees. I don’t believe in guarantees because there are always too many variables in any given situation. I feel it’s much better to provide a sensible and actionable expectations and deliver on it (aim to exceed it), than give promises of grandeur and fail to meet them.Providing on what you say builds trust and gives the client confidence in your abilities and it is also a much more authentic way to do business.
Communication is probably the most essential client management tactic. Proper communication is the only way to become one of the big boys/girls in client retention.
A few main areas in which we should be spotlighting our communication on include:
- Knowing them and their business
- Knowing when they make changes to their business/site/account
- Letting them know you’re accessible
- Letting them know you’re always working to improve
Written by Jeffrey Chang