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New approaches to client engagement
The term “business as usual” couldn’t be further from the truth. The corporate landscape has faced a profound number of challenges and transformations in recent months — and will continue to do so as the world evolves and adapts to the new normal.
To survive disruption and setbacks, businesses need to focus on strengthening their existing client relationships, while also forging new ones in this challenging market. Organisations will need to constantly evolve and adapt their client engagement model, to ensure they’re delivering maximum value while also growing the business.
The new normal absolutely requires new approaches. We explore how your organisation can continue to engage with clients and ensure the relationship lasts, both now and in the long term.
1. Show up for your clients when they need you
By choosing to work with you, your clients are demonstrating that they trust you and the work you deliver. Amidst the change, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you solidify that trust by showing up when they need you.
Whether you’re in financial services or marketing, for example, your clients are relying on you to help them navigate the change and adapt their business. Maintain contact with regular newsletters or updates via social media, and ensure clients are always aware of how to reach you if, and when, they need to.
At the same time, consider conducting a monthly check-in to discuss their challenges, changing needs and to brainstorm strategic solutions. These actions will demonstrate to your clients that you’re there for them, while keeping lines of communication open and enabling ongoing conversations for your business.
2. Evolve your communication processes
Strong processes will help you build strong relationships with clients, no matter what the business environment. When you design your client management processes to have multiple communication touch points (both face-to-face and digital), you ensure that your business is future-proof and that clients are kept in the loop at all times.
In addition to the usual emails and coffee catchups, considering how to integrate online platforms as part of your client management systems. It could be through introducing a digital project management tool like Asana to ensure clients are updated on the progress of campaigns and due dates, or a dedicated Slack channel for day-to-day communications with all the relevant team members.
And rather than assuming everything is working well, it’s best to ask your clients if they are happy with the current communication processes that you have in place. You may find that they may require more frequent but shorter check-ins via video call, or perhaps they’d like to switch to a digital platform where team members can easily see when you are online, making it easier to get in touch.
3. Provide free resources or client services
One essential way to add value in today’s changing business environment is to provide your clients with the knowledge and resources they need to understand the current and future trends.
Sharing white papers, webinars, videos, podcasts and blog posts all help you to do just that, while positioning you as an expert in your field. Alternatively, consider offering a free initial consultation or audit for clients. Use this to help them pinpoint any issues and understand the new direction they need to go moving forward.
These valuable services and resources allow you to demonstrate thought leadership, generate new leads for your business, and expand your network.
During the COVID challenge, there have been many examples shared on social media of consultancy experts offering their expertise for free, understanding that many businesses cannot make that investment right now. Existing and potential clients will remember that you were there for them when everyone else was shutting their doors.
4. Explore new opportunities to deliver value
Despite the changes brought about in the changed environment, the fundamentals of business remain the same. It’s about listening to your clients and delivering value.
It’s the perfect time to take a step back, revisit your existing offering, and see how you can transform this for the future. Conduct a SWOT analysis. Analyse what your competitors are doing. Talk to your clients to understand their challenges and think about how you can help. When you shift to a value-based mindset, you’ll build deeper and more meaningful relationships with clients — while ensuring your business can weather any storm.