How to virtually close the client relationship gap

Author: Charles Rathumbu, Digital Account Manager

In the past few months, we’ve all seen major changes within industries, especially the communications field. There’s been a shift from relying on physical interactions to virtual ones including meetings, conferences, and events.

Major brand events such as the Facebook F8 developer conference, the Mobile World Congress, and the  Google News Initiative summit had to be cancelled. IBM cancelled their annual ‘IBM Think 2020’ conference but the company chose to hold a Digital Version of it online by streaming content and sessions.

Here are some ways that digital and communication professionals could navigate a virtual customer relationship landscape, to successfully ensure that clients are satisfied.

  1. Define the purpose of your virtual meeting

Alright, we’ve all gathered together for a virtual meeting but what are we here for? This question can simply be outlined in the body of the email as you send your meeting invitation. Make it clear and quick to consume.

  1. Give the client your heart-ear

What I’ve learnt in the past few months is that it’s important to listen well; that is to understand your clients’ needs and not overstep them with your next big idea. Do this by encouraging internal teams to build an inclusive, empathetic culture and transfer that energy to your client. Wherever possible, set time aside to brainstorm with them about how you can work better and provide actionable solutions. This approach will also help you to proactively share suggestions within the scope of the clients’ concerns. Not only will you be solving business problems facing your client, but you’ll be creating value for them.

  1. Don’t waste your client’s time

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Come to the virtual meeting prepared and pull together supporting information or blueprint goals to help the client see the progress made so far and what still needs to be done. This mindset will help the client notice that you’re not only professional but that you’ve taken what they’ve said in your previous meeting seriously, and as a bonus, you’ll get more done.

  1. Follow up immediately

It’s important to follow up because it helps you continue engagement while the attendees have your meeting fresh in their minds. Write a meeting summary, share a next-steps summary or send the recording to the team and the client if necessary – whatever works for you.

In our industry, we talk a lot about ‘share of voice’ and how much of it do the brands we represent have in their respective markets, but we tend to neglect whether we have our client’s share of memory, which is vital. Being of mindful of doing the above tips can help close the client relationship gap. Customer relationship management is simply doing the little things right for our clients to meet their business objectives and grow valuable relationships.

What to read next: 9 tips for better video meetings.