You have completely lost a client worth thousands, how and why?
The worst possible outcome of a completed project is your client (or soon to be ex client) is dissatisfied with your agency and your capabilities.
Usually, the result is due to unestablished client expectations, mislead expectations or over explaining your companies’ capabilities and under delivering. This is more common than most companies think and it happens when a campaign has been rushed, not enough questions were asked or you simply did not understand the client’s goals.
These are the mistakes that everyone has made. We can’t remember a conversation, we only read one part of an email, we think that we heard something. Putting it simply we make assumptions.
We have a few tips and tricks for managing and setting expectations so that all parties are on the same page.
- Be Honest from the First Point of Contact
Like most things in life, there are just way too many factors at play to make promises. Unfortunately, I can’t predict if a potential customer will like their product, or if the client will get a $50K boost in sales after the campaign. This will at least give your client lower expectations and gradually meet to your level with how you explain this.
- Most clients don’t know their goals or needs, try figure these out together
Let’s face it, your clients goals are going to be unrealistic, make sure you hold the pen and the pad and talk about realistic goals – Make sure these goals are agreed and you do the most talking, back up these goals to why these should be on the ‘goal list’, this will help your client trust you and not only that, it will let them be more personable with you.
- Once goals are set, bring these goals up in conversations
This will remind the client why they are doing this with your business and also what the plan is.
Bring the set goals up if you have reached them and congratulate them for it being a milestone, you will empower the client and they will believe you have helped them tick a goal off of their list!
- Have everything in writing, when it’s a phone call, after always confirm the conversation in writing
This is a hard one when there is already not enough hours in the day, but don’t under estimate this point! Nothing is ever confirmed or signed off until it is in writing. This covers your back when the campaign is completed, and the client comes back asking about this, that and the other – Well, you will thank me when the time comes.
- Let them meet who they will be contacting most
If they are not dealing with you direct moving forward and you have already built up a good relationship make sure they meet with whomever will be their next main point of contact, don’t forget – you need to be there also! Make sure the person meeting the client is debriefed and can walk in, the client does not need to repeat anything as your staff know everything about the client and their business. This will not only impress the client, it will also make them feel important and again, trust you and the company!
- Be Upfront about what happens next
It is your job to get the results, you need to consider what may prevent you from getting this event or promotion done right! This will help the client adjust their expectations and know that things will run to plan. Usually there are road blocks in arranging staff and making sure it’s a positive promotion, however don’t see these road blocks as a negative – see them as once you overcome these setbacks, your client will have more trust in you and be grateful that you brainstormed a detour!
- Set expectations about how you, your crew and your agency work
Whether it is just as simple to letting the client know of how long it takes to get back to them via email or call, it will give them a better understanding of how you work and again, meet you at your expectation level.
- Always stay between the black and white lines
This will set you up for the negative result if you go into any grey or transparent discussions! I get it, it is hard not to and you always get an urge to say – Yes, we can provide the most gorgeous, intelligent girls that know your brand off of the top of their head and will be there 30 minutes early for 30 days straight. But, hey this will put you in a predicament of the client’s higher expectations. Make sure you stay on the black and white lines when discussing what your agency can accomplish.
- Always under promise, and try to over deliver.
We all want to always deliver the most gorgeous, intelligent girls that know your clients brand off the top of their head. But, let’s look at reality of the picture here. Never respond with “It is possible” OR “We might be able to deliver that”, all the client hears is that you can get it done or in fact that you are unsure of your capacity and companies capabilities.
- Communicate, communicate and hey why not communicate a bit more.
Just keep communicating.