The name “3Q Digital” represents the tenets of client service – EQ (emotional quotient), IQ (intelligence quotient), and XQ (execution quotient). They’re all fundamental to great client service, yet the first one often gets short shrift in the industry’s thought leadership. Even on our blog, it’s a lot easier to find a post about bidding strategies than about understanding the needs of your clients.

So let’s change that! In this checklist-style post, we’ll dive into how to develop a great, trust-based relationship with your client – and prove that their success really is of utmost importance to you.

Personal connections are at the heart of good client service.

Understand Your Client’s Needs and Offering

  • What is your client’s Unique Selling Point (USP)?
    • It is important to fully understand what differentiates your client’s company from its competitors to be able to accurately and productively market their services and/or products.
      • Your client’s USP could be one or multiple things that help it stand out from the competition: price, customer service, delivery, quality, etc.
    • What are your client’s goals from their digital marketing efforts?
      • Are they looking for lead generation? Purchases? Awareness?
        • It is critical to understand what your client is looking to get in return for their investments. If you do not understand your client’s goals, it is easy to optimize your campaigns incorrectly.

Maintain Positive Client Interaction and Relationships

  • Develop and maintain a strong point of view.
    • As an agency, the client has the deciding say in which channels to pursue and develop; however, it is important that you present a well-reasoned and strong point of view on best practices and recommendations. This will help your client develop a greater trust in you, and if they push forward against your recommendation you will have a clear stance should there be future questions.
      • One of our clients was looking for new channels to expand into and was constantly pushing YouTube. While this can be an effective channel, we did not believe that it suited this client’s business or goal for driving purchases. While the client ended up pushing ahead with YouTube (before turning it off because it wasn’t performing as they hoped), we held strong in our decision that YouTube was not our recommended channel for expansion and that we believed other channels would be better suited to our client’s goals and reiterated this through both email and client calls.
    • Innovate!
      • Always be looking to push forward and develop new ideas for your client.
        • These ideas don’t have to be earth-shattering, but going above and beyond for your client helps create trust and builds the relationship.
          • While digging through a client’s account we noticed significant Facebook traffic around their organic posts and proceeded to boost their impressions through paid traffic. This led to significant increases in their social followers and page interactions and to several purchases and registrations, all of which the client was happy to hear about.
        • Don’t be afraid to mess up, but correct your mistakes quickly and learn from them.
          • It is okay to have a recommendation go wrong: a new channel doesn’t prove as effective as you hoped, a new campaign fails to perform, etc. Always admit when things don’t go as planned, and be sure to explain what you learned and what your next plan will be.
            • We launched a new campaign where the targeting was set to anyone searching for or about a region to increase traffic. This, unfortunately, led to a significant amount of irrelevant traffic from beyond our targeted region. When we admitted to our mistake and what had caused it, the client was accepting of the error after understanding what had happened and the acknowledgement that we would be updating targeting to only include people within the targeted area.

Maintain Client Trust & Develop Connections

  • Assure that all client deliverables are up to the highest quality standard.
    • Minimizing errors in reports, campaigns, and all other builds and client deliverables helps maintain client trust in your professionalism and expertise.
  • Go the extra mile to build relationships.
    • Almost everyone prefers to work with someone who is open and friendly; clients are no exception. Showing that you care about their product/business and the client contacts themselves is a great way to continue to build a client relationship. This personal capital may be a deciding factor that convinces a client to stay with you or your business if they are considering taking their operations in-house or to another competitor.
      • While you don’t want to start every email with a long greeting, it is nice to establish a personable demeanor when first meeting a client. On client calls, it is often best to open with small conversation to slowly ease into talking about performance and business. Discover their interests, see if you have anything in common, and make genuine connections.
    • Provide a service that a client cannot find anywhere else.
      • You don’t have to be an expert in everything, but try to develop an unmatched skill or expertise. While having an understanding across many channels is important, being an expert in one channel or field helps differentiate you from competition – and makes you invaluable to your own company. Maybe you’re an expert at Excel, reporting, conflict management, client interactions, etc.; sharing this skill helps everyone grow and makes you an important asset to your company and client.

In case I haven’t harped on this enough, make sure you really do have a genuine passion for your client’s success. (If you don’t, you’re probably in the wrong industry.) The more you know about your client and your contacts, the more powerfully you can convey your commitment to helping them grow.

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Jonathan Manthey
Jonathan joined 3Q Digital in January 2017. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Advertising and a minor in Spanish. Jonathan loves to travel and do everything active and outdoors, with a particular interest in thrill-seeking activities. In his free time, Jonathan can be found with friends and family or seeking out his next adventure.