Simple Tips to Maintaining Great Agency/Client Relationships During the Pandemic
By: Andy Judson, Co-Founder/Managing Partner at The Topspin Group
The pandemic has, and continues to, put a strain on our relationships – family, friends and business alike. As a Managing Partner of a full-service Marketing Communications Agency, I am used to being at clients offices several times a week as nothing beats face-to-face contact to help grow a relationship and build a strong rapport. I truly miss going to clients, presenting ideas, listening to their challenges, and participating in the give and take interactions that help solve their problems. As a bonus, I get to test my joke making abilities as well.
I am frequently asked how to get the most out of Client/Agency relationships, so here are a few tips to help maintain and even strengthen your relationships. The goal is not just one sided but how you can best work together.
- Zoom often! I know, I know. We are all tired of Zooming all day but it is the closest tool to being in the same room with each other.
- Turn your video ON. I am a huge proponent of face-to-face interaction, especially on the agency side, even if clients have their video turned off. It will ensure your own personal engagement, keep you from checking phone, email, etc. and create a pseudo live environment.
- Be a pro. Know how to share your screen and move around your device to quickly access any information at a moments notice.
- Small talk at the start. We no longer walk to meeting rooms together or have a few minutes before everyone settles to catch up on our personal lives. Thus, we need to engage at the start while getting virtually ready.
- Share what television shows you are binge watching, the great new wine you just found and the types of activities you are doing with your family. Simply put, tell how you are coping with the pandemic. We are all in this together!
- Communicate company policies to each other. Are you back in the office? Is anyone going into your office? Are there any special holidays or times where no meetings are allowed? Every company is doing things slightly differently these days.
- Share how your company is approaching these unusual times. Transparency will alleviate any tension or questions as you can each see the approach the other is taking and understand how best to move forward in partnership.
These are just a few simple tips that are easy to enact and will pay back dividends in the long run. Many are seemingly old fashioned, but they remain an effective way to connect on many levels and maintaining a solid relationship.
Remember, you are partners.