Building Trusting Partnerships With New and Existing Clients
Written by Jane Newton
Building Trusting Partnerships with New and Existing Clients
Here at LaFleur, we know cultivating successful and trusting partnerships with our clients is what will drive our clients’ successes. Our customers often tell us they are looking for someone they can trust to help grow their businesses, and we pride ourselves on being trustworthy, professional, and transparent at all times.
Customers are five-times as likely to forgive a mistake and four-times as likely to refer a business to others if they truly trust them. Clients need someone they can trust to be good stewards of their money, their qualified leads, and the future of their business. When a client trusts us, it means they have expectations from each interaction with anyone from LaFleur.
We’ve distilled these client expectations into 5 principles we practice every single day to build strong, long-lasting, and trusting relationships with our clients.
1. Active Listening
Clients come to us because they need something they’re currently lacking. Those needs can be specific, such as needing help with rebranding or starting a PPC campaign. Or they can be broader, like improving their online presence and SEO strategy through the creation of a new website and an entirely new content development strategy.
When we start working with a new client, we kick things off with an onboarding call. This is an opportunity for the client to tell us about who they are, their goals as an organization, their successes, and their pain points. We actively listen to everything they have to say (and sometimes what they leave out) and take detailed notes about what has and has not worked in the past and what they hope the future will look like. From there, we can begin sketching a detailed outline of a potential marketing strategy.
Establishing a strong understanding of one another at the very beginning helps build the foundation of what we anticipate and hope will be a long-term partnership.
While we obviously consider ourselves experienced and efficient digital marketers, we also pride ourselves as problem-solvers. Typically, clients come to us because they have a problem (not getting enough business, want to increase brand awareness, not happy with existing marketing solution, etc.), and we are here to help solve those problems.
Our goal is to address each pain point our clients are experiencing and each goal they would like to accomplish with a viable and effective solution that fits within their budget. Our problem-solving method is systematic; we holistically develop an affordable and effective marketing strategy to maximize budget and lead potential of all campaigns and marketing initiatives.
3. Set reasonable expectations
After the onboarding call, we like to level-set. As a team, we want to make sure we understand the source of the frustration or challenge and get a full picture of the ultimate goal and the objectives and benchmarks that goal composes. After that, we set realistic expectations of what clients can expect from our work. Having clear expectations allow us to help clients diagnose their needs and achieve their goals.
Some agencies will promise things they really can’t execute. For example, no agency can guarantee you’ll achieve top organic positioning on Google, let alone the first page. Likewise, agencies can’t ensure your marketing email open rate will skyrocket; nor can they definitively say you will see a 100% increase in website traffic or conversions. If someone is guaranteeing specific results, demand specific evidence from previous clients.
Different approaches work for different clients and situations. We are always prepared to be flexible and adjust our plans to what is working for the client.
4. Adhere to Client’s Time and Work Style
Each client has their own time constraints and work processes. We try our best to conform to each client’s style and schedule while maintaining a productive workflow of our own. We do this by setting realistic timelines for the work we produce while also making sure each client is part of the process.
Some of the ways we align our work methods with those of our clients is to ask how they prefer to communicate (reminders via phone, email, or text messages — for example) and how much lead time they might need to approve a piece of work, such as a blog post or infographic. In some instances, we are able to determine a specific point person on a team who we are able to work with directly to streamline the editorial process and optimize communications.
5. Open and Honest Communication
We pride ourselves in offering our clients open and honest communication in a timely fashion. Phone calls from clients are returned within one business day and emails usually within a few hours. Effective and timely confusion is paramount, so we confirm receipts of all items sent to us and are willing to discuss your needs ad hoc in a teleconference to gain more clarity and communicate more precisely.
To keep clients engaged and involved, we also offer regularly scheduled and highly detailed phone meetings to all clients every other week. During those meetings, everyone has the opportunity to speak about what’s working and what’s not, describe new challenges or obstacles, and bring innovating ideas and initiatives to the team.
Regular calls also allow us to review analytics and open a discussion focused around items that can be improved or changed. These conversations keep the marketing plan updated and flexible to take advantage of new opportunities as they present themselves.
Bonus Principle: We’re Passionate
Anyone who works with us will see right away that we are passionate about what we do. We love the challenge of resolving business and marketing obstacles with effective solutions that grow and strengthen our clients’ operations and bottom line. Each LaFleur team member is passionate about marketing and is constantly looking for ways to improve processes, implement best practices, and stay on the cutting-edge of new technologies.
Additionally, we thoroughly enjoy working with one another. Whether it’s a brainstorming session to solve a specific client’s pain point or an evaluation of a project, everyone on our team has a strong respect for one another and the work we all produce. This strong foundation of friendship and mutual respect is essential to the high-quality work we strive to provide our clients.
Benefits of Following These Principles
Building strong and trusting relationships with clients has numerous benefits. By developing and maintaining these partnerships, our clients can depend on us when things go as planned and when there is a deviation in the original strategy. They trust we will make things right in the event of a contingency and that we will keep them in the loop regardless of what changes are on the horizon.
We know our clients need us to be dependable. They have enough on their plate, and they take comfort knowing their marketing needs are taken care of no matter what.
Build a Strong Partnership With LaFleur
Here at LaFleur, our number one goal is to build strong relationships with all our clients. We practice what we preach and look forward to helping you grow your business and develop lasting partnerships with your clients.
Give us a call today at (888) 222-1512 or complete this form to learn how we can help.
Peters, S. (2016, March 29). Content marketing for customer retention. Builtvisible. Retrieved from https://builtvisible.com/content-marketing-for-customer-retention/