Have you ever had to deal with a distressed client? It’s a sinking feeling and certainly not something you want to bring to your boss. Or worse yet having to have your boss tell you. But don’t worry, you aren’t the only one, and that probably won’t be the only time it happens, after all, you are dealing with people.
Below we evaluate three ways you can help repair a client relationship before it’s too late.
1. Find The Source
As an agency you are hired on to solve a problem for a brand, whether that’s SEO, social, email or everything above and then some. One of the first steps you take when understanding why a marketing channel is a pain point is by looking for the source.
Are they sending the wrong information in an email?
Are they having trouble understanding how ad audiences work on Facebook?
You dig through data, read old emails, plug everything into new tools and dashboards until you can uncover what is wrong and use that decide where to go and what to do next.
Well, do the same thing if you can tell there is a problem brewing with the client. The same urgency you would put into turning around bad metrics needs to be a part of saving this relationship. Don’t immediately go into defensive mode when they start giving you feedback, instead listen and dive in just like you would if they were talking about a marketing problem. Identifying the real issue, the cause and then the solution (just like you would with a marketing problem) will settle and solve the problem right away.
2. Declare A Leader
When things get tough with clients, no one really jumps at the opportunity to head into the ring. Or maybe before things even got bad there was no defined leader on the accounts everyone was jumping into the ring offering different promises, solutions, and strategies.
Having a clear leader can solve a lot of these stressful situations. Someone that is a part of all decision-making, the point-of-contact, and is very obviously leading the team and the client to victory. This also means this person needs to be the one to hear client’s feedback (and ask for it often) so they can translate it into terms that will motivate the team to make changes and not discourage them. This leader will be the one calling the shots and taking the bullets, managing the ups and downs, and taking responsibility when a problem arises.
3. Don’t Take Feedback Too Personally
Why yes, it’s important to acknowledge any and every problem a client comes to you with it does mean that you let it kill your confidence. Now, that’s not the same thing as arguing with them on why they wrong for thinking that. What that means is you need to understand what they are saying, where they are coming from and do everything you can to fix that issue but that does not imply that feedback defines you, your team or your agency.
Take their feedback as feedback, an opportunity to hear something you need to improve to make your business better and that’s it. If we let that take away our belief in our work and ourselves then that is where the real trouble and come in. When you present the solution to this problem or even have to offer an apology, do so with confidence. The client needs to believe in you more than ever so come back to them with a solution you believe in, and it will help move everyone forward.
Wrap It Up
Your client hired you for a reason. They knew you could bring something to the table they didn’t already have and trusted the results it would bring for their brand. Don’t let anything take away from that! Do everything you can to keep the client happen and address problems right away.
If you can solve unexpected problems that come up and still execute a strategy that works, what more could a client ask for?