How to Build and Maintain Client Relationships

July 6, 2023
July 6, 2023 Sally Dee

How to Build and Maintain Client Relationships

As a public relations professional, developing strong relationships that last with your clients is an essential skill. PR is a highly relationship-based industry, and to keep clients happy or to continue adding to your list of clientele, knowing how to maintain a positive relationship is essential. In addition, when you have a valuable relationship, you can expect better outcomes for campaigns and other work done to help the client. Not to mention, your agency’s word of mouth and reputation will improve if you can maintain loyal customer relationships. Here are five of our top tips on how to build and maintain client relationships.

  • Communicate Effectively and Consistently

Maintaining consistent and transparent communication with your client should be a priority. It can be easy to put clear communication aside when things get busy. This is why consistency is so important, and developing a plan to stay in touch during a project is a crucial first step. Although you must set boundaries with one another, being regularly available and responding promptly will show that you value your client and prioritize their needs.

  • Speak Your Client’s Language

It is crucial to dive deep into your client’s industry research before the relationship is established. With this comes general knowledge of their industry and ensuring that you use the correct language in communication and other marketing efforts. At Playbook Public Relations, we work with clients from various industries, ranging from real estate to restaurants to infrastructure. Therefore, understanding the basic terminology and their brand voice is critical to engage in conversations and representing them accurately. 

Then, in addition to understanding the content that your client specializes in, it is essential to adapt to their style and preferred modes of communication. This means that you must utilize tools and services that they are most familiar with, even if they do not necessarily match your own. These tools may include using video chats instead of emailing or using various cloud services, whether it be Microsoft Office or Google Drive.

  • Treat Your Client as an Individual

Although the primary goal should always be to maintain a professional relationship with your client, getting to know them more personally –to show you value them as more than just a paycheck– can go a long way. However, the level of the relationship will depend on the client. This is why you must get a feel for your contact person’s personality to see how comfortable they are with developing a more personal connection. In addition, the overall industry often plays a part in determining whether a personal connection is appropriate.

For instance, if you know that your client went on vacation recently, it would be a safe bet to ask how the trip went as a surface-level personal question. If you know you have a better connection with your client, sending something more personal, like emailing them an article about limited deals at their favorite restaurant, could be appropriate and appreciated.   

  • Be a Proactive Problem Solver

It is always good to be one step ahead of anything that might come your clients’ way. If you can anticipate any issues or conflicts that may arise for your client, you will likely find a resolution promptly. Also, being proactive will give you the time to develop creative solutions that will help clients navigate future obstacles and achieve objectives. This will also build trust with your client, demonstrating your diligence in maintaining their brand reputation.

  • Always Follow Up and Seek Feedback

Touching base with a client following the completion of a project or asking for feedback along the way is a great way to demonstrate that you value their input. While in the working stages of project development, actively listening to your client’s concerns and suggestions will help improve your work to meet their goals. This, in turn, will produce the best possible outcome and maintain a positive relationship with your client. 

When finished with an immediate project, it is good to follow up because it can also allow you to extend your relationship into the future. You can share what went well on the project and what you have learned in the process. This will enable you to position yourself for success by demonstrating your value as a PR professional and may set you up with future opportunities.

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