Do you work at an agency, own your own business, or do any client service work for your current or future job? If so, keep reading.
In the third article in a series on how to build a career in the digital space, Sebastian Oddo, the Vice President of Technology, Design and Content at Octagon, shares some of his best practices for keeping clients happy.
Over the course of his career (thus far), he admits to having learned many good and bad lessons as it relates to best practices with clients. By sharing his learnings, he hopes to help others working at an agency avoid repeating his mistakes.
Three of his best practices (and biggest career lessons) are below.
#1 – Communication
Oddo’s advice: “One of the most important tactics with a client is to always be one step ahead of communications. For example, if you are working on a project together, your client should never have to ask for you an update on where you stand with everything.”
Tactic: Put together a recurring calendar reminder to send them an update on where you stand with everything each day. Even if you don’t have a substantial update to share, at least they know that their project is top of mind for you.
#2 – Be Honest
Oddo’s advice: “Giving your honest feedback to the client will go a long way. Clients hired you to provide them with guidance to reach the best solution for every job. Don’t let them go down a path that doesn’t make sense, tell them the truth.”
Tactic: When telling a client your opinion or feedback, provide them with data or facts that can help initiate a healthy discussion about the topic. Don’t just say “I don’t like that experiential activation.” Instead, say “I think we should explore a two to three more experiential activations that might drive more traffic to our footprint. This space will not give us the throughput we need to provide an interactive experience for our guests.”
#3 – Deliver the future
Oddo’s advice: “Most of the clients I have encountered in my career have always been interested in what’s happening two to three years down the road. How they can get ahead of a trend(s) to make them stand out from their competition. As a good client partner, it’s always beneficial to look out on the ledge for your clients.”
Tactic: Put together a weekly or monthly email that goes out to them outlining some trends happening in their industry. Things are always happening around us, so if you devote one to two hours to researching this, it will allow your clients to see that you are thinking ahead for them and providing additional value.
“At the end of the day, your client wants to have a relationship with you (whether you believe that or not). They want to know you have their back and can provide them with results, time after time. Start using some of the tactics above and I know you will see positive results,” says Oddo.
Building trust and exceeding expectations are essential when working in client services and these tips offer you ways to do that. If you have questions, feel free to send Oddo a message on LinkedIn or Twitter at @BePositive.