Maintaining client relationships in the digital age

Maintaining client relationships has always been one of the most important parts of succeeding in business, but over time, these relationships have changed substantially. We have the caricature from Mad Men representing decades of clients being wooed, followed by a far less personal, more ‘professional’ modern business, with marketing departments having strict control over the message that the clients receive. However, in the digital age, that has changed.

With the rise of both social and ‘alternative’ media, clients and potential clients across all industries have easy access to more information and opinions than ever before, making marketing messages all but obsolete. Instead of the first business impression being key, every previous interaction can be taken into account, with any product faults or support hiccups playing a prominent role in a client’s decision-making process.

Maintaining client relationships in the digital age, therefore, requires a very different sort of personalisation than it did before. It isn’t enough to have your CRM system remind the account manager of a client’s birthday, prompting some social media interaction. Instead, businesses need to leverage their data collection abilities to give clients the information they need to make an informed decision, and then maintain contact and a high level of service throughout, to develop a trusting relationship, in order to leverage what amounts to word-of-mouth advertising through the new digital channels.

Through the internet, clients have access to huge amounts of information about your company and product before they make contact, but you can also collect substantial information about them. Any time a potential customer spends on your site, you are already collecting data. You just need to put that data to use to give that initial point of contact with your business information on the features or products they are interested in, allowing your salespeople to get to the point, beginning the relationship with a personalised service.

Instead of a traditional ‘sales’ role, sales and marketing departments need to adopt a level of customer advocacy, constantly taking the client preferences and behaviours into account, to be able to assist, advise, and educate the client, in order to create compelling personalised messaging. Clients who feel like your business is working to improve their experience and taking their needs into account are clients who will buy in, not just to the product, but to your brand.

With new media’s ability to ‘go viral’ and disseminate information, you need to ensure that every interaction is as positive as possible, and this means extending the personalised and customer advocating relationship past the point where the sale is complete, and ensuring that the post-sales support from your business has the information and training needed to keep your clients.

Also to be considered are alternative ‘personal’ advertising streams, through new media and social media. This can be having an executive with a Twitter account engage actively, a Reddit ‘AMA’ on a related subreddit with one of your engineers, or an in-depth interview with an industry-relevant YouTube channel with a substantial audience.

All in all, you want to build a feeling in clients that your business is accessible, transparent, and trustworthy. Speak publicly about how you want to improve their experiences and set your organisation up as a customer advocate.

 

  • Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    "As a fast-growing start up, we need great people with a tough set of skills to find. They need to be hungry, experienced and fit the culture of a business that is always adapting and growing. Finding these people using Linkedin and other job boards is tough, time-consuming and rarely bears fruit. Ross has always been able to uncover gems for us, and we are benefiting greatly from his skills at CONCURED. Ross has a rare ability to really understand the business, the culture and the people that will nail the role. I couldn't recommend him highly enough, and he is the only recruiter we deal with"      
    - Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
  • Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    I am writing to express my gratitude to Ross Clifford & Associates who helped me successfully secure the role of Enterprise Sales Executive at Concured. Ross was extremely professional and understood the specifics of the job I required. I especially appreciated his fast response, transparent communication, and coordination in a timely and efficient manner.
    - Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
  • Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Ross is one of the friendliest recruiters I've dealt with. He was always attentive, quick to respond and ready to help with any questions I had. He's very professional, and not at all superficial like so many other recruiters out there. I would highly recommend him.
    - Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
  • Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    “We look for commercial people with a rare blend of talents. They need to be able to advise our blue-chip clients on thought leadership strategy. They need to be highly strategic and purposeful in uncovering opportunity. And they need the hunger it takes to thrive in a rapidly evolving business. Ross was quick to understand our need, he only delivered high-quality people for interview, and he succeeded in getting us a winning candidate incredibly fast.”  
    - Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
  • Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    I can't rate or recommend Ross highly enough. He brings a thoughtful, personal approach to the process, carefully matching opportunities with candidates, through a good understanding of their priorities and skills. Throughout, he keeps candidates up to date in an open, honest way. A genuine pleasure to work with.
    - Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
  • Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Ross is the best recruitment agent I have worked with, he stayed in contact, kept me informed and was with me every step of the process. He also checked in with me during my first couple of weeks in my new role to make sure I was settling in. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    - Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
  • Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    I have worked with Ross over 4 years now and he has always delivered a really high standard of candidate both at senior and junior level. His online knowledge is second to none and all the candidates he has put forward over the years have only good things to say about Ross and his work ethic.
    - Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
  • Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Ross is a fantastic recruitment consultant -  extremely professional, meticulous, patient and supportive. Throughout the process, I felt he represented me really well and genuinely cared about my career and finding the right role. Thanks to Ross I am now in a role I love, working with a brilliant team. Very highly recommended!
    - Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude

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