Go the extra mile for your clients – or the next agency will

At PAN, we assume that competitors are reaching out to our clients on a regular basis.  It’s not what drives our desire to go the extra mile for our clients, though it’s certainly something we consider.  But if you’re going to work in a public relations agency, you’ll have to live with a healthy dose of paranoia — especially during current, highly competitive environments like this one where the economy is still putting pressure on marketing and communications budgets.

Organizations want more and more for less and less – plain and simple.

So in our quest to always deliver that more and more and to continue to delight our clients with great customer service, the team here held a week-long email jam on ways to up-level our public relations and client services offering.  This article in our hometown newspaper inspired the free exchange of ideas which included suggestions from our interns and associates through our senior executives, including our company president, who was the very first to weigh in.

All were thoughtful, on point and relevant.

It’s what agencies need to be delivering, or the next agency will.

Here are a few gems:

I think above all else, great client service should be results-driven.  With great results comes greater opportunity to build and expand relationships. 

My suggestion is to listen carefully to your clients and adjust to their needs.  It’s easy to throw out new ideas and add-on services, but if they are irrelevant to your client’s current business goals, your client will just become frustrated.

Try to see things from your customer’s point of view.

Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the client’s business, and it needs to come across in the way we service accounts, the strategy behind recommendations, weekly calls, three-month plans, and in particular, written materials.

Not only is it critical to understand each client’s organization, but it is equally important to get to know your clients as people.  Simple things like finding out what they do on weekends or what hobbies they enjoy might uncover some similarities between you and them leading to stronger and longer term relationships.

I second that. We should strive for our clients to be both confident AND comfortable with us.  That comes from building a stronger rapport and really getting to know our clients.

And last but not least:

Find a way in your team calls to let your clients know ‘you enjoy/like working with them.’

What are your favorite client service gems?  Send them our way and we’ll share them in another post.