Prior to the pandemic, enjoying lunch with clients or having a meeting room full of people was not unusual. Fast forward 14 months later and many are eager to get back to this norm while others would tout the pandemic for creating innovative ways to connect with clients.
Whether you are ready to head back into the office or stay seated at your new throne at home, we can likely all agree on the importance of maintaining client relations during the pandemic.
At Brookline, our approach with clients is far from one-size fits all. Whether working with clients who are completely remote or others who have remained in office from day one, one thing is for sure, all our clients are unique and we continually find new ways to connect with them.
Does this require more intention or effort? Perhaps. In other ways, not so much. Is it always worth it? Absolutely.
Regular and consistent communication
Regardless of the method (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, you name it), ensure regular touchpoints and consistent communication with clients. While we don’t have the luxury of visiting our clients in office right now, the newfound virtual approach to meetings has still allowed us to connect with clients in a different but efficient way.
Consider tech an advantage
We live in a tech saturated world (now proving to be an advantage) with an abundance of tools at our disposal helping to facilitate communication with others. We may miss the in-person meetings but when it comes to virtual options, there’s no shortage. Ensure you have the most appropriate tools for what you are trying to accomplish. Did you often connect with clients in person? Video calls may be your new go to. If conference calls were more the norm, then likely not much has had to change. However, with the availability of technology, you may consider moving your phone calls to a virtual platform to have more ‘face time’ with clients.
Understand there will be interruptions
Even though we’re more than a year into the pandemic, that doesn’t mean everything will be smooth sailing. Understand there will be interruptions for both you and your clients. Whether it’s a disruption in internet connection, a dog that wants to play, or children online learning at home, it’s all part of the continual adjustment. But don’t forget to stay up to date on virtual meeting etiquette (no eating on camera, aim for a clutter free background, ensure a quiet space when possible, etc.).
Nurture current relationships
If we have learned anything in the past year, it is that we are all in this together. In fact, Brookline’s theme of the year is just that: #BPRtogether. Don’t forget about the long-standing clients that have weathered the storm with you. Surprise and delight them – organize a courier with delicious baked goods, send an e-card to celebrate special occasions, or simply send a note to check-in. At Brookline, there’s no shortage of creative and thoughtful communication, both internally and externally.
The big takeaway? There’s no special formula that works for everyone. Remember your clients all have different needs but there’s plenty of opportunities to build, connect and grow relationships. Be resourceful, get creative and remember, we are all in this together.
Amanda is an Account Director at Brookline Public Relations. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring – ironically since she doesn’t like getting lost. She flourishes on bringing broad-minded, creative ideas to the table and trying things outside of the norm.