by Maria Tabish Chawla
Relationship building is the corner stone of gaining success in public relations. Gaining trust and respect isn’t something that is achieved overnight. It involves a high degree of diligence, knowledge and communication.
Great communication can increase popularity with clients, improve how trustworthy clients see you and can make tricky situations easier to resolve. The following four tips highlight the most important points for successful client communication:
Being transparent can create a stronger and more profitable client relationship. Clients are looking to work with an open and honest PR company, it is therefore very important that this is included in the very nature of your work ethic. It is good practice to be transparent in the way you work: the more you explain processes, share information and provide regular updates to the client, the more understanding and patient they will be. Another area in which to be transparent in is when errors occur. Proceeding quickly to communicate and correct a mistake, and then taking the steps to limit it from reoccurring will please your client. It’s also good practice to keep your client in-the-know about your products and services, should anything change which is likely to benefit or affect them.
It is obvious that the more you are in regular contact with your client, the stronger their trust will be in you. If your client recognises that they can contact you and get a quick response, it will help to improve and strengthen your overall relationship. It’s important to remain accessible to your client, if they have to go through multiple amounts of people just to get you on the phone, this will not sit well. Communicate to your client your availability so that they understand when they can get hold of you. This will instill confidence in the client that you are aware of their needs and will also reinforce respect for your time.
Learn to Empathise
It is important to ensure conversations are clear, explaining any terminology your clients may be unfamiliar with and round-up your conversations with the actions to take away to avoid overwhelming them and instead building a friendly, positive and well-informed communicative relationship. Understanding goes hand-in-hand with empathising. If you pay close attention to your client and often place yourself in their shoes, you are well on your way to practicing empathy. It could be deemed as one of the most important communication skills to master, everyone likes to be understood and listened to and to feel as though their needs and wants are identified.
Take the time to form personal relationships
Overall your relationship with your client should remain professional but you may find yourself learning a lot about your main contacts. If you can bond with your client, this is great – it will make your working day pleasant and communications easy. Just by working with your client, you’ll pick up on ways in which they like to work and vice versa, which is great for forming a strong working relationship. This can only come from communicating regularly and being personable.
By listening, being proactive and personable, you are sure to be on your way to a successful relationship. The only way to improve is to practice, practice, practice and your communication skills will naturally develop along the way.