One of the main lessons I’ve learnt during my time in traditional and digital PR, is the vital importance of managing client expectations...
While working in an in-house role, you focus on looking after your own brand and company reputation but in an agency, you represent multiple clients at once and yes – they are all your priority.
At first it can seem a little overwhelming, with every client demanding your full attention and expertise. However, with good time management and a few top tips, you can ensure your clients feel looked after and satisfied that you’re doing the best you can for them.
Looking after your clients and forming an effective relationship is all about common sense and basic manners. Ask yourself, if you were a paying customer, how would you want to be treated? You’ll see some common themes emerging. You’d want to be kept in the loop, involved in decision making and ultimately see results. Let’s look at a few ways to make that happen:
1. Where Do You See Yourself In…
Who remembers that question from their career adviser? Well, it’s a great place to start with your clients too. A good rule of thumb? Never assume what your clients want or need! You’re there to listen, agree or disagree but you’re not there to ignore. A great way to start with a new client is to ask the question, “Where do you see your business going from a PR perspective?” Ask them more detailed questions about this, like: What publications would you ideally like to feature in? What sort of content are you looking to create? Who are the main competitors you want to go after? Yes, you might already have a plan for your clients but they’ll want you to chase other opportunities too. Asking these questions makes it easier to keep your client satisfied and get the results they want.
2. Full Transparency Is Key
It’s a quick win for staying in your clients good books…make sure you’re always transparent and available. It really all comes down to how your clients work. Some will be more than happy to receive their monthly reports and a couple of updates throughout the month, while others will want to know every decision you make and why!
If your client is the latter, it’s important to adapt to their way of working. Answer emails promptly, even when you’re not working on that client, have weekly phone catch ups and ensure they’re the final decision makers when it comes to your PR activities. It doesn’t have to be a lot of hard work either. A little can go a long way.
Full transparency with a client will build trust, develop a good relationship and make your life much easier too.
3. Become One Team
Yes, they’re your client and you’re working for them but forget that for now, it’s important to become one team. If your client is confident you know their business and what’s best for them in terms of PR, you can expect a much smoother and trusting relationship.
The answer? Do your research. If it’s a new client, find out everything you can about their business. Write content in their tone of voice, take a comprehensive look at competitors and connect with them on social media. Clients will be much more comfortable thinking of you as a part of their team, rather than just as an agency.
4. Stay Positive About Results
Communicating and keeping your clients in the loop is great but unfortunately PR is a results game. Whether you’re looking for links, press coverage, or both, your clients are relying on you to help improve their presence online and ultimately drive more sales.
We all know both traditional and digital PR doesn’t always guarantee instant results and your clients will know that too. If you’re struggling to get results, then be sure to stay positive, try different techniques and use your time wisely. If you can show your client you’re tenacious, and learning and attempting different techniques, they will feel confident more results will come – and they will!
When you’re looking after multiple clients, it’s still important to get to know their business as well as you can. Communicate openly and aim to be seen as part of the team!
Could we help your business with digital PR? Contact us today and see how we can help.