These two tips especially, are spot on:
Re-Establish Humanitarianism – Even with the best projects, the doldrums set in. Weeks fly off the calendar, design iterations number a half-dozen, feedback is a week late in coming. Sometimes, in the midst of a project, you just need a reminder that an actual person is still in-step with you. A quick one-on-one conversation with the client’s project champion will reshuffle the deck by allowing each side to express their concerns and get the teams working on collaborative solutions. The client will appreciate the transparency and extra attention, and the relationship will be stronger for it.
Control the Communication Tipping Point – It starts with a feeling: you need to head off an issue, you can sense confusion, you know the questions are coming. Before you get an email or a Basecamp post asking what’s wrong, you should control the tipping point by being proactive with communications. You’ll demonstrate a firm grasp on all facets of the project while having the client’s interests explicitly in mind. As athletes in training might say, “run the trail, don’t let the trail run you.”
Taking a proactive stance is the common thread here. Great client service people don’t react, they proact. I’ll be honest, I’m not a great client service person. But I’m heading in that direction. You know why? Because great work that sells is the result of relationships built on mutual respect and trust. All the creative thinking in the world can’t make an impact until the relationship is right.
At any rate, I appreciate the reminder to reach out. Consistent, effective communication — which is at the core of an agency-client relationship — is responsibility number one. Without it, there won’t be any room for a celebratory beverage, much less a trip to Cannes.
photo credit: Rachel Hadiashar