6 ways to rock client management
Ask the Client Service team how we deal with difficult clients, and the resounding answer will be “Alcohol”. Now, before you whisk us all off to the nearest rehabilitation centre, let us assure you that we love working with our clients… Most of the time, anyway. Now and then we’ll encounter a client who makes life a little difficult. When we do, here’s how we handle it.
- Ask the right questions
When you get a vague brief or feedback you really don’t agree with, it’s easy to assume that the client doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Our job, however, is to ask the right questions, in the right way. Not just to figure out what the client wants, but why they want it – and to see how we can address this with kick-ass creative thinking.
- Stick to the process
A super urgent we-need-it-last-week brief hits your desk, and you’ve got to make it happen. It’s tempting to abandon processes and dive straight in. But cutting corners can end up costing more time (and stress) later on. Take the time to write a good brief, create a realistic timing plan, and sit with your creatives. And, just in case the bad stuff really hits the fan, make sure you’ve got everything in writing.
- Always follow up
A client going quiet is never a good thing, even if it feels like a nice break in a crazy week.
- Stand by your work
Don’t give the client just what they’re asking for if you don’t believe in it. If you have to, offer two options – the one they’re demanding, and the one you have confidence will work. After all, they’ve hired the agency because we know what we’re doing.
- Have a coffee break before you respond
Take a deep breath. Chat to a colleague. Stand on the balcony and let out a scream. Do whatever it takes to get a little perspective. And when you do respond, edit out the exclamation points.
- Have a little empathy
It turns out Mom was right about walking in their shoes. Perhaps your client is being difficult because they have their own challenges to face, and you’re just way down on their priority list. See how you can help.
If all else fails, you’ll catch us at the bar… a double on the rocks, please.