Let’s Talk About It (But I Ain’t Got All Day) – This is part one of Kevin’s series on Efficient Communication Tactics in the Marketing World.
In a marketing agency, the key to getting anything done efficiently is communication. However, you can’t communicate with everyone in the same manner — just as you wouldn’t communicate with your best friend or your grandma the same. There are nuances in how you speak, email and interact with the many types of people you will encounter.
This week, we’ll dive right into CLIENT COMMUNICATION.
In my experience, I’ve noticed that every account manager/account coordinator has a different style of communicating with clients. Some are more casual, some stick straight to business and some enjoy a nice mix of both. Yet, there are common denominators in each situation.
Keep Your First Interaction Very Professional
Make sure your first correspondence is the pinnacle of business etiquette, because you have no idea how the client prefers to communicate. Even with prior knowledge of the client’s personality, you’ll still want to establish yourself as a professional. Once you get a feel for the client, you can start customizing your communication toolshed.
Let the Client Lead Your Communication Style
As strong as our personalities can be, when you are in a client-facing position, you will always need to make adjustments to how you communicate with a client. At the end of the day, clients are the ones who keep the lights on at an agency! So we need to be nimble in the way we interact with them.
You’ll be judged on how quickly you can think on your feet (or more accurately, your tongue!), while communicating, to keep jobs on track or in conversations with not-so-happy clients.
Be the Ultimate Sympathizer
A big part of this gig (hopefully, not too big) is that you will have to deal with unhappy clients at some point. Whether it’s caused by a mistake on the agency’s end or simply the client unloading the stress of their day onto you, things happen.
Our role as an agency is to relieve clients from the stress of having to handle their own marketing and in doing so, we need to be effective in communicating at high-stress times. A key component of this scenario is to listen! Let them speak (or vent) and validate their feelings about the situation.
It’s easy to get defensive, but it’s much more effective to put yourself in their shoes and communicate from a perspective of wanting to help. And that’s what agencies are all about – helping our clients.
Ranging from being a professional first to being somewhat of a therapist — the way you interact with clients will differ greatly! Be on the lookout for my next blog on efficient communications!
–Kevin Gordy, Account Coordinator