Our respective knowledge is an exchange. Their strengths are not in our business, nor are ours in their business, but one of the most damaging precursors to any relationship with a customer is the assumption that we must ‘educate’ them”. The subtle psychological implication of the word ‘educate’ over a word like ‘collaborate’ sets the tone for superior positioning. As if we thought that we are the teachers and they are the students. Jaimee Newberry, Co-Founder and CEO of Picture This Clothing Jonathan Khan, who organizes events that teach communication skills, agrees. “To me, the idea that an agency would need to ‘onboard’ or ‘educate’ a client seems patronizing, like we need to introduce them to the ways of the world.
Isn’t customer engagement about working together to create something that works for everyone? If so, the people at the agency need as much ‘onboarding’ or ‘education’ in the ways of the client”. In fact, Bryce Bladon, communications and brand consultant as well as editor-in-chief of Clients from Hell, points out that education goes both Spain B2B List ways. “You should not only educate your customer, but you should strive to understand. The problem that led them to seek you, the results they want, and how. They hope to meet them,” he recommends. This gives you an opportunity to communicate how. Your work will help them achieve their desired results. Don’t try to explain the fine minutiae of your trade. Instead, educate your client by showing. Them how the decisions they make can help them achieve results that matter to them.”
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Trent Walton agrees, adding that education is a two-way street. “It is always very difficult for us to learn about the processes and objectives of the client. Through that work, we begin to share ideas and philosophies as our perception more closely aligns with theirs. I think it’s vitally important to be clear and honest with the team, but feedback is more likely to have an impact when context, understanding and trust are shared.” See also How to Captivate Your Clients Every Time by Amy Kapell, VP of Client Strategy at California digital agency Closed Loop. You may also be interested in: How to build strong relationships with clients in another time zone. 2. Build trust Building Customer Relationships: Building Trust Trust, of course, is the foundation of a great client/agency relationship.
In the beginning, that trust must be earned by both parties, and that is similar to the beginning stages of any relationship with a new person, explains Evgenia Grinblo. “You have to overcome the gaps in terminology, expectations and different past experiences,” he warns. “Customers may not be used to your process or understand its benefits, and you may feel that their questions about the way you work are meant to criticize rather than learn. At first, there is a mixture of enthusiasm for a new partnership mixed with an equal amount of lack of confidence. You must overcome gaps in terminology, expectations, and different past experiences. Evgenia Grinblo, UX Leader at Future Workshops Shopify Plus Experts SwankyApple includes a note in its proposal, stating that “we try to foster honest and forthright camaraderie on projects.”
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“We want customers to feel absolutely safe challenging us, asking questions and asking for our input,” says director Dan McIvor. “But at the same time, we want to have the freedom to express. When we think customers are missing out on an opportunity. You need trust for this to work well, and the process of building trust usually. Starts with discussing small things and then moves on to bigger opportunities. Another way to build trust is to align expectations. Which is also crucial for a good business relationship. A client usually hires you because you have experience or expertise. That they don’t have explains Bryce Bladon. Usually they may not understand what exactly. They need from you or how you can help them.