Managing client expectations is challenging. When your client works with your company, they want their needs and concerns to be forefront. Frankly, they don’t care if you have other clients, and why should they? Think about it, when you go to get your oil changed, and the mechanic tells you that your car will be ready in an hour, you expect your vehicle to be ready in an hour! Your life is busy, and your time is valuable. They should know this, and you expect them to deliver on their word. Our job as our client’s marketing team is to make sure our clients know their needs are a priority. So how do we do that? How can we make sure all our clients feel heard and meaningful every time?

The first step is making sure all expectations are understood. There’s nothing worse than when a client calls and says, “wait, I thought that was a part of the plan?” or “isn’t that included?” Things we as marketers think are obvious aren’t always obvious. We can fix this by eliminating the confusion upfront. Keep the proposal handy, walk through it again if needed. Manage expectations from the start. This saves a lot of tough conversations from happening down the road. Another way to eliminate that confusion and make sure everyone is on the same page is to ask questions.

A big part of what we do is understanding our client’s brand, just as much as they do. It’s okay to ask those clarifying questions. A simple, “Can you provide an example?” or “What other information am I missing?” can go a long way. Let’s face it. Some clients trust us and let us do what we know how to do best. Then other clients want to know the details and be a part of every aspect. That’s okay! Knowing the type of client you’re dealing with can determine if that client will be someone you need to connect with weekly or monthly. This type of communication can make or break a relationship. If a client expects check-ins often, but you’re only touching base once a month, you’ve technically dropped the ball. Determine how much communication should happen and how often.

Lastly, be responsive. If there’s an issue be timely in getting it taken care of. Don’t make excuses. It’s natural to want to defend yourself or your team, but create a solution and stick to it. Our communications with clients should be valuable, and professional. When you treat your clients like they are essential, they recognize that. Remember that the person you’re working with will be your biggest advocate to others within their company AND other places too. When it’s all said and done, we want nothing more than to make our clients happy and their jobs less stressful. We partner with our clients and become an extension of their team. We have developed solid and lasting relationships with our clients because of our quick communication.