Published May 17, 2022
One of the major challenges I’ve witnessed since client relationships began to be managed online is the missing human connection – the world of video calling is very different from that of a real-life meeting, and regardless of the leaps and bounds we’ve made within that realm, there are certain interactions that are simply impossible to replicate online. Even something as simple as a call breaking up, or a frozen screen, can derail a meeting and change the atmosphere. I’d argue that the overall environment of digital channels is colder than in person, which certainly is a challenge when it comes to supporting client relationships.
One of the more obvious pitfalls that often can hinder a great client service is simply poor communication, which can stem from not understanding your client or their specific needs. Similarly, this lack of understanding can lead to an expectation imbalance – on both sides. It's so important to manage expectations from the initial communications onwards, as not managing expectations is a common pitfall I’ve witnessed, and one that can definitely be avoided.
Good, clear communication is a key pillar in managing a client relationship – without this, it will be very difficult to provide a client service that works well for all parties. Similarly to this, relationship management, and by that, I mean knowing when to come together as a team, is undoubtedly important. It’s also vital that as a business you are agile and flexible when required – however, it is also worth noting that expectations should be managed regarding your time and what you can offer, and when.
First of all, you need to ensure that your partnership goals and your organisational goals are aligned – that way, all teams are naturally vested in client results, as the goals of the clients reflect your company’s own. It is important to have a plan with partners that align with these shared goals, not only for clarity but in order to get the most out of every team involved.
I think that having a clear organisational structure is key in managing workloads and avoiding burnout – executives and managers should be working together to divide and conquer, communicating effectively and understanding each other’s roles and how they can support one another. It’s also important to remember life outside of your work! Hobbies, sports, ways you enjoy your day that have nothing to do with work, and making time for that. Taking breaks with something you enjoy can have a huge effect on how you return to work, and it’s something I actively encourage.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s completely normal not to know something, and the only way you’re going to learn is by seeking out the answers. Similarly to this, asking for help and support is really important when starting out – and if you’re working with the right team, they will genuinely want to give you this support. Finally, just get stuck in!