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Relationships that fail have a trend. The same issues seem to always cause the demise of a once flourishing romance. I want to focus on one of the core problems: communication. We’ve heard it a million times before in every type of romantic comedy — just say the magic words and the girl is yours. Funny enough, the same underlying view about communication is applicable to client/agency relations.
Great communication can lead to more business, set the right expectations, and possibly even get you a glowing review on social media. Terrible communication can spiral into lost business, angry clients and, on occasion, playing the blame game while trying to figure out what went wrong.
So often, I come across agencies that are reactive. They rely on a process that on paper is bulletproof. They have rules and milestones and think there is very little chance something will slip through the cracks and break. But there is a chance — a big enough chance that can be a costly mistake.
The truth is, there will always be a chance for slip-ups. That’s the reality. But instead of being reactive, look for ways to be proactive. Look for ways to cut back on talking for the sake of it and find ways to implement stronger communication devices.
I want to talk about one strategy I personally use to create stronger working relationships with our clients. And it all starts with an email titled “We Need To Talk …”
Amplify Your Video Communication
I used to schedule screen shares with clients where I’d walk them through updates and features we would be making to their website, PPC campaign, even social media designs. If it was billable work, it was up for grabs to discuss. I did this to show them what to expect and answer any questions they may have along the way. Usually, I’d time this around a milestone so that when they got the next invoice, they could easily connect the dots on where the time and money was spent.
I’ve cut back on this. Not because my clients didn’t appreciate it — they did. And not because it didn’t work — it does. I cut back because there is a better way to communicate that I found clients appreciate a lot more that’s saved time and money.
When you make an update, big or small, send your client an email with a link to a video walking them through the update(s). I’ve lost count on how many clients prefer this method over a traditional screen share. The videos should be short enough in length that the concepts are easy to grasp. And this way, they have the option to rewatch them whenever they’d like.
Additionally, I’d recommend creating a library of these videos of frequently asked questions where you can quickly pass the solution on to clients with just a click. So now, you’re saving time. You’re also making your clients’ lives a bit easier. Ideally, with this approach, you should be providing a faster service than traditional forms of communication. You can take this a step further by creating an FAQ page and placing those videos in categories that make sense for your agency and clients.
Now you may be thinking: “What if they have questions? What happens there?” Questions are welcome. If a question comes up, it’s followed by a follow-up video. It’s that’s easy.
For agencies that don’t make regular updates and are worried about not having video content to share, you can always proactively share monthly and even biweekly status reports. This takes the pressure away from clients trying to figure out what you’re doing and why. It also involves the client a bit more by letting them share in the evolution of your marketing campaign.
How To Use Videos Internally
But that’s not enough. You can also use videos internally with your team to communicate client requests, onboarding process, and the occasional “what’s in our pipeline” video.
While I’m the type of person who prefers lists — seeing the words and checking items off — we all know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” So I ask you: What is a video worth to your clients, to your team? In my experience, it’s priceless. It’s a tool you can use again and again with little upfront cost and time.
Send these onboarding videos biweekly. Reach out to your clients and let them know “we need to talk.” You’ll be surprised by the amount of appreciation you’ll receive from this type of customer service. This is how you show clients you love them and are loyal to their growth.
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