As a project manager, you will face many challenges in your line of work. However, one of the toughest, most exciting chores is definitely working with clients. Client management is a story in itself – creative agencies work with huge varieties of people, so no two days will ever be alike.
However, in order for your business to succeed, you will need to conquer all of these challenges. This is why you will need to perfect your client management skills. In this article, we take a look at amazing tips that will help you accomplish just that!
Perfect Client Management Tips
Use the right software
If you want to have good relations with your clients, you will need to set up systems that allow this. Luckily, the advent of technology has allowed creative agencies to create strong communication systems, as well as use the tools that help shape up their ideas.
For example, all creative agencies need an idea planning software. Together with your client, you can work on the big and small details of what their idea needs to be. Tools like IdeaBuddy can help you shape it up and make it stand on its own two feet – from the team, you will need to the budgeting and resources!
Then, you also need to set up good communication channels. We will talk a little about reporting back to clients through email, but it is also a smart idea to use a team communication tool like Slack too! This way, you will be able to get immediate input from your client if you need some smaller information or detail for your work.
There are many other tools that can help you perfect client management in your creative agency. We strongly encourage you to explore further, depending on what kind of agency you are running. Technology is developing every day, and you never know the improvements you will get – just by doing quick research.
Active listening is essential
One of the first skills you will want to develop is active listening. It will help you understand exactly what the client wants. Of course, once you know their needs, you can address them easily, and the client will be happier with your product.
Sadly, not many project managers understand what active listening really is – and rightfully so. Active listening is a complicated subject, with many diverging schools of thought and exercises.
However, the gist of it is to ensure that you are engaging your client even when you are not the one doing the talking. As a matter of fact, as the name suggests, you will be mostly listening to your client during the process. Meanwhile, actively work on the ideas and topics in your mind while still feeding the process with new information coming from your client.
There are many ways you can do this. Eye contact is important to help you focus on what the client is saying. You can also stay responsive by saying things like “I understand,” or “I see” – and really mean these. It will help you focus even more, but also show the client that you are paying attention.
In the end, make sure to repeat the ideas and ensure you are on the same page. You can tell them something along the lines of: “To summarize, you would like us to…” This way, you are less likely to make mistakes in your project – and clients will be happier for it, too.
Keep your communication open
An important trait of a good client manager is that they understand that communication with a client doesn’t end when they share their needs. Instead, you will get the best results if the client is involved in the management process – at least to some extent.
First, you should never leave your client in the dark. Experts suggest that not informing your client regularly is the same as not doing anything at all – at least as far as the client is concerned. They can start thinking that everything is going downhill, while you might be doing just fine!
So, make sure to report back to the clients regularly. This can be something as small as an email telling them where you are in the process. Do not be afraid to tell them about problems as well! As a matter of fact, this is even more important than good news, because you remove any surprises for your client.
In order to boost client engagement even more, you should ask them for feedback, too. It is true that in a creative agency, feedback can sometimes be bad or slow down your progress. But feedback can also save you a lot of time if there are some significant changes that you will need to do along the way.
Become your clients’ eyes and ears
What is the difference between a good and a great client manager? The great ones are not responding to clients but being proactive as well! If you really want to succeed as a creative agency, then you will want to make yourself indispensable.
How can you do this? By researching your client’s industry as much as you can. This can not only help you boost your standings with a client but can open the door to even more clients, as well!
All you need to do is try to stay informed. Keep up with how the industry is developing and what news is coming out. Then, monitor how your client is doing compared to their competition. When you find something of interest to your client – share it with them!
This way, you will stay in your client’s peripheral vision. They will not forget about you, and you might even become the first person they contact when they need some help! Knowledge and insight are valuable, and by offering it to your client, you will become a resource they cannot deny! This will also grant you more expertise in their industry, which can help put you in a great position in that niche, too!
In conclusion, managing your clients is challenging work – but it can also be endlessly fulfilling as well! Try to set up a platform for them to voice their opinion and share feedback – and make sure you actively listen and follow through on what they say. Then, stay informed about their industry, and you will build strong bonds that will push your agency forward with ease.
Author Bio: The content writer at IdeaBuddy, the business planning tool built for success. Alex combines his love of literature and teaching into working on content optimization and online writing.