At Chartwell Agency, we make relationships with our clients a priority. In marketing and communications and any industry, you should always strive to be known as a trusted advisor rather than just a “vendor.” Building strong relationships takes work, but it’s really no different than your personal relationships, as the same components apply.

Below are seven tips to build strong lasting relationships with your clients.

Know your client

At the onset of any relationship, spend the time to get to know your client. This includes not only the information about what their mission is, what they do and who their audiences are but includes how their internal culture works, as well. Also, take the time to get to know about your contact and how they want to be communicated with and what is important to them in a relationship.

Communication

As with any relationship, communication is key to success. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that communication is important for relationship building, but oftentimes, people forget that communication goes both ways. Not only is it important to keep your customers informed, but it’s equally as important to listen to and understand their needs.

Be responsive

Always respond to your clients’ requests and questions in a timely manner. Even if it’s a non-answer answer, don’t leave your clients guessing what is going on. Sometimes a simple “I wanted to let you know that I got your email and am looking into it” response goes a long way.

Be proactive

We always like to say that we should be able to point out a potential problem to a client before it becomes one. You must always be thinking one step ahead of your client. Bring ideas to the table before they even have a chance to think of them. Knowing how your client thinks and what they like will put you in a great position to take the initiative to constantly be proactive and bring new ideas to the table.

Pick up the phone

With all the different forms of technology today, it’s easier to just shoot off an email, but sometimes there are situations in which you are better off picking up the phone. If something is complicated to explain in an email or can present a challenge, just make the call.

Be open and honest

Being transparent and open to feedback from your clients helps to build trust, an invaluable component to client relationships.

Make it personal

Sure, your relationships with your clients are “business,” but it’s important to get to know them on a personal level, as well. Whether that is asking about their child’s recent ballet recital or asking how a trip went, making a personal connection makes a difference.

When you build strong relationships, you become a trusted advisor and are able to achieve much more together. Make it a goal to focus on your client relationships in 2020.