Suffice to say that in any business, client happiness amounts to a happy business– your business. In the advertising world where business marketing meets conceptual communications …objectives, strategies and creative all need to be integrated to provide the one strong solution … it’s important to keep the following in mind to earn client happiness!
This should be your mantra: KNOW THEIR BUSINESS. It’s the equivalent of being prepared when you go to an interview. You must do your homework. Research their market, the industry, the competitive landscape and the product offerings. Remember trust must be earned, so if you’re not prepared and you don’t offer up a knowledge base of their playground…clients will get nervous about entrusting their product, service or brand to you.
Be a partner and not a supplier. Be accessible and make yourself a constant resource. In today’s speed of business, marketing teams, brand managers and marketing directors feel the need to rely on external resources to get the job done…and done well. Be that external resource. How? Ask to be part of the strategic process. Keep current on industry news or competitive information. Send them articles of interest or highlight key opportunities that may be pertinent to their company’s or brand’s success. Watch their back… and they’ll only be too happy to invite you in their inner circle to get the value of your insight!
Don’t tell them what they can’t do, tell them what can be done. As an advertising or brand agency it’s your job to sensitize them to the issues at hand, the potential problems of a certain initiative or concept…but if you leave it at that, that’s one more thing that they need to solve. If you want to keep your clients happy, provide solutions. You not only need to highlight the potential risks, you need to provide solutions to deter that risk. That’ll make them happy!
We all know it, we all think it. Everyone is a marketer, everyone is an art director, everyone thinks their creative. Often I have been directionally briefed. I get asked to deliver on a pre-decided tactic… “We want a direct mail” or “we need an advertising campaign”. Clients often know what they want, and they should. Afterall, they are the keeper of the brand. However, it’s our job to push the envelope and to ask the questions that may provide a hidden nugget, a new perspective, a different tactic. Our role as a brand advertising agency is to know about the next best thing about…well advertising and creative. So the rule of thumb…give clients what they need to see. Only then will they be receptive to a different approach and evaluate what you can bring to the table… making you again a partner in their business.
Prepare to WOW. It’s good enough is never enough. Go in with concepts and solutions that will WOW them. When presenting creative campaigns it’s important to go that extra mile. Understand the potential and limitations of each of your creative solutions and speak to them. Wow them, not only in what they see before them, exciting concepts, but in your thought process and preparedness to answer questions and provide insight.
One word. CARE. Ultimately that’s really the one word that wraps up all previous points. Care enough to matter. It’s about client service. There you have it. The secret on how to be a successful business. What is client management if it isn’t about keeping the client happy. And what makes clients happy, what keeps them that way is pretty straight forward.
No matter what client services you offer, ultimately there is one factor that will keep them coming back, delivering on your promise, promptly, effectively and consistently. Client Happiness is guaranteed to make your Business Happy. It’s a perfect marriage.