At Emphasize we are very lucky to have had several clients over the years who have become friends. Because our online marketing philosophy is collaboration combined with creativity, we work very closely with our clients … in fact, we have been told that our thoughtfulness and approachability are what people like best about working with us. We pride ourselves on always being available to answer questions and paying close attention to good communication. This is probably why we rarely have trouble getting along with our clients, and that’s a track record we strive to keep.
Sometimes, however, people are just difficult, and often it can be impossible to determine why. We try to never take a frustrated client personally, as we realize that people have lives that are difficult and they may simply be reacting to an external situation we can do nothing about. But when conflict does arise, these tried-and-true methods of getting through have served us well.
- Stay calm. Our clients are passionate about their businesses, so we completely understand when emotions run high. But situations can easily escalate if you are not careful. Remember that clients can easily share bad reviews of your business, even if they are completely unwarranted, so it’s important to take the high road as much as possible and never allow clients’ irritation to affect your responses. Definitely never say or write anything that can be misconstrued or used against you. Face-to-face is always the best way to resolve a conflict, as even the best writers can have their words misinterpreted. Remain civil, but assertive, and remember that there is always opportunity in obstacles. Take what they are saying into consideration and use it to improve.
- Make them feel valued. Quite often, anger is the result of someone feeling as though they are not being taken seriously or their opinions are not respected. Make sure you understand exactly where their emotions are coming from (ask as many questions as it takes to get to an answer), then be sure to let them know how you will act upon their wishes.
- Break up the problem into manageable pieces. The bulk of our business involves website design services, and it can be difficult for people to articulate exactly what they want from their website – especially if they are not internet-savvy. So if a client isn’t happy with the way their website is progressing, what I try to do is ask about specific aspects individually to get at the heart at what is bothering them. I’ll start with the colours, then the font, then the navigation, then the content … it’s much easier to tackle each of these individually than trying to get someone to come up with the right words to describe what they don’t like as a whole. But I also attempt to avoid simply providing solutions, as that can negate the issue. I ensure to let them know that I want to maintain a good relationship, and that I appreciate their efforts in helping do so.
- Use active listening. Although a confrontation can be intimidating, it’s still important to actively participate in the conversation. That means actively listening as well. If there’s something your client is saying that you don’t understand, repeat what you are hearing them saying and ask if you are correct in your interpretation.
Mastering the Client Meeting
Our online marketing techniques help gain online exposure for our clients to earn customers, and we need to know a lot about your business in order to offer our most effective support. So when we meet with clients we usually have a lot to cover. Great client meetings start with preparation. Agendas are very helpful for staying on task, and we always set clear objectives (and make sure to meet them). We keep our meetings personal and practical, only covering our clients’ particular needs. Finally, I like to follow up with a quick email or phone call to summarize the action items that arose in the meeting and ensure nothing will be missed in the follow-up.
Emphasize Design Online Marketing Services
Along with website design services, we provide online marketing and promotion services such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, brand reputation management, content development, and data and analytics. Contact us to see what we can do for you and your business!