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Keeping Clients Happy

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Relationship.  Relationship. Relationship.

In the public relations world, it’s not location, but relationship that counts at almost everything you do.  And, if you are part of a public relations agency, it starts with client satisfaction.  Without great clients and your relationships with them, you cannot be successful. At Stevens Strategic, our team has served many of our clients for more than 20 years, even over 30 years.

When it comes to client service, there are a few things that drive the process.

1.        Listen.

A long time ago in a land far away, I learned from Henry Eaton that listening was the single best way to help clients succeed.  Through listening, we learn why clients stay up at night and how PR or other communications techniques can solve problems.  How we can create a team with the skills our clients seek.  And, what triggers success.

2.       Exceed expectations.

It is sometimes easy to meet expectations.  But, it is a true bonding experience when you exceed expectations—especially when you can do it over and over again.  Now, this doesn’t mean you set the bar so low that you will succeed.  It does mean that you should always be looking for that extra twist that makes the client experience “memorable.”

3.       Be there through good times and bad.

In today’s economy, our clients have faced some very challenging waters.  Some have come very close to shutting down operations.  When times get tough, we are there for our clients.  If a crisis arises, we are ready to lend a hand.  When it is necessary, we provide services beyond the call.  Our clients become our family.  When our family members hurt, we share the pain.

4.       Know their business.

Every day is a learning experience. That goes for learning your client’s business.  You will never be able to be as savvy as a client or their technical staff about their products, but you can come as close as you can.  You hire technically smart individuals to move your firm forward, and you reward them for their achievements.  By knowing your client’s business, you go a long way to retaining the client.

5.       Continue to reinvent yourself. 

I had a former client compliment me by saying that he was impressed how many times that Stevens Strategic has been able to reinvent itself to stay competitive and provide top notch services.  It used to be you had to reinvent yourself every three to five years.  Now, it seems like it is every year.  You do this by hiring smart people, staying current with technology and looking in the mirror and asking “am I the best I can be.”

6.       Track results.

We are doing everything we can to monitor, track, count, compare, evaluate and measure what we do for clients.  We have a responsibility to provide the best report card we can for what we do.  If a client invests in our firm, we invest in the research and tracking mechanisms able to tell us whether what we do works or does not meet expectations.  Information is power.  What we know helps our clients win.

— Ed Stevens, APR, Stevens Strategic Chairman

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