How to Better Manage Client Relationships

Friday, January 25, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Companies that provide services to their clients rely on more than just providing exceptional service.

As a matter of fact, establishing a meaningful relationship with a client is vital to a company’s success. The main reason is that such relationships build a foundation for future cooperation and positive referrals that can help a company stand out on a crowded market, as well as help them gain a competitive advantage.

In other words, if your clients are happy, they are more likely to hire your company again and even recommend your company to their associates. However, simply establishing a relationship isn’t always enough to ensure seamless cooperation.

That’s why companies in the service sector must manage the relationships with their clients and ensure that their clients are satisfied at all times. Of course, this task isn’t always simple, especially since some clients are more difficult to manage than others. Nevertheless, your company should make an effort to ensure good relations regardless.

That being said, here are a few tips on how to better manage client relationships.

How to Better Manage Client Relationships
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  • Mutual understanding

    For client/agency relationship to flourish and even exist, to begin with, mutual understanding must be established before anything else. You must be clear about what you can or cannot do when negotiating with clients. As an agency that provides certain services, you must be able to portray what those services include to your clients in a way that understandable and comprehensible. What’s more, you must understand what your clients truly need as well.

    Clients have specific goals in mind but they oftentimes don’t know the best way to achieve those goals. That’s why they outsource such tasks to agencies and allow them to handle the project the best way possible. Understanding client needs allows you to come up with the best solution and present that solution to the clients so that they can approve the project. In essence, don’t promise what you cannot handle and try to make clients understand what’s possible to achieve and what’s not.

  • Clear communication

    Communication is the foundation for any successful relationship. If clients and agencies aren’t communicating well and often enough, problems will most certainly occur. For instance, you may be midway through the project when a client decides to change things and make adjustments. Modifications are costly, demanding and time-consuming, especially when certain factors or strategies have already been implemented. To avoid such inconveniences, clear lines of communication must be a priority between both parties.

    You must communicate with clients regularly and across various channels. As an example, communicating through email is a good way but it’s not always reliable. Emails can be overlooked, accidentally deleted or lost which hinders the effectiveness of communication. Instead, opt for more options, such as communicating over the phone, scheduling regular face-to-face meetings, using instant messaging apps and so on. That way anything can be discussed before implementation and the project can continue on without unnecessary delays.

  • Keep clients informed

    One of the best ways to manage a relationship with a client is to keep them updated and informed about the project’s progress and impact. Every client wants to know how the strategies you’ve chosen are influencing their business and how effective they are at driving business goals. If the results of your actions are beneficial and positive, it will keep the clients happy. However, it’s not just about the end result. You must update clients regularly if nothing else then to ease their minds.

    If they know everything is going well from the start, they’ll be more relaxed and more willing to cooperate. For example, if your company is a digital agency that provides digital marketing services to their clients, you can use reliable digital marketing reporting tools to keep clients updated and informed. That way they can analyze the results and evaluate your performance each step of the way. You can even adjust your strategies based on their feedback and make improvements if need be.

  • Meet client expectations

    Every client will expect a certain quality of service. As mentioned before, some clients are more difficult to handle than the others but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to meet their expectations, all within reason, of course. For many agencies, managing client relationships may seem like a one-way street where you do what the client says, in order to make them happy and satisfied. However, that’s not always the case.

    Meeting client expectations doesn’t revolve around doing everything they ask for. In fact, it revolves around delivering viable results and sometimes that includes a bit of straightforwardness. Clients may ask for things even though they don’t fully understand what is it that you do. In such cases, it’s important to be direct and transparent. If you suggest an alternative to what they demand but take the time to explain why that is a better course of action, your clients will respect your honest opinion and your professionalism.

    After all, you have to have a client’s best interest in mind, even if it sometimes goes against their wishes. In the end, when everything is set and done and the project is completed, your clients will appreciate the fact that you did what needed to be done even if they thought it should be done differently. Simply put, everyone understands the results when it’s all over.

Managing client relationship isn’t simple in any way. Agencies must do their best to keep their clients satisfied or risk losing work to competitors. However, delivering results and meeting client expectations is still quite sufficient to ensure long-term engagement and loyalty from your clients.

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