In the world of marketing, advertising and public relations, you often hold in your hands the responsibility of another’s success. A virtual balancing act when taking on new projects, and keeping all other clients in the mix, along with any semblance of a personal life. Sometimes everything seemingly works out well, and other times it’s a struggle to get ideas and strategies off the ground. Each client’s success depends on their happiness with the job you are doing for them, and ultimately their bottom line.
The best laid plans and strategies often fall short of expectations, especially if a client is either too hands on or, on the opposite end, does not collaborate well enough. While it’s easy to point a finger of blame, or make excuses, your marketing business depends on your ability to find solutions and each client you work for deserves nothing less.
Regardless of the situation, your success depends on the level of confidence built that you will give it your best. Whether your client constantly changes what they want, or whether you didn’t screen them properly in the initial consultations, once you are in the game with them, your service is what they demand, and what they should get.
It’s your company’s reputation on the line and how you handle difficult situations will be what they remember most, and what they will tell others. Can you be all things to all people, well no, but you can’t afford not to try. Handling difficulties is all a part of doing business with the public, but golden rules must be followed. Here are a few of ours:
- Always be available when the client needs you.
- If you don’t have the answer, find it.
- Respect, respect, respect for the client and their ideas.
- Communicate and collaborate
- Check your ego.
- P&P, Professional and Polite
- Quality and integrity in all things
Occasionally you are going to do all of the above and still things don’t work out. How do you part ways? Amicably at best. For your own company’s reputation, and although at times you will be frustrated, take a step back and breathe before taking action or opening your mouth. Just like leaving any relationship, it should be done with dignity and grace. Hand over the keys, passwords and id’s, and walk away. The end, should it come to that, must be friendly, with both parties in agreement that you each did all you could to make it work.
There are always more ways to keep the customer relationship golden, if you have some, please share!