At SUCCESS agency, we pride ourselves on the remarkable experiences that we provide our clients. A large part of what makes those experiences so remarkable is the communication. After all, effective communication is key to the success of every relationship.
So in this blog post, each of us would like to share the little things that we do to ensure effective client communication.
You’ll notice that we refer to our clients as “investors.” Why? This helps to remind us of the fact that we are a financial investment for our clients; they are investing their resources in us just as they would a financial investment. In other words, it’s another small way that we help ensure those remarkable client experiences.
So for what it’s worth…here’s our two cents.
Caleb Stauffer, Lead Web Developer
One thing I do that I think is different/unique, is I give our investors an opportunity to learn…when I’m explaining something, I’ll use semi-technical language during my initial communication and provide context to explain what those terms mean. If the investor wants to, they learn something, and if they don’t, they have basic understanding.
I also make a strong effort to make sure everyone understands what is happening or has happened, often asking clarifying questions repeatedly, to help ensure that different approaches/scenarios have been considered and have solutions. I am especially attentive to my own understanding: if I have any question on what I am being requested to do, I ask questions until I believe I understand the investor thoroughly and correctly.
My go-to example is from my 100 questions during the daily kick-off. [Our CEO,] Avin had provided instruction (as he does for everyone) to answer [the questions] in two seconds…from my perspective, that can mean two things: 1) you have two seconds to begin answering or 2) giving your answer should be complete within two seconds after the question is asked…and so I asked, and that point was clarified. I could have easily proceeded without asking that clarifying question, but an accurate understanding of what is being requested is vital (and can quickly become critical in web development), and so asking questions (no matter how challenging) until the request is understood is a must.
Avin Kline, CEO
When I’m working with a VIP investor (and I try to treat all our investors as a VIP), I have a mantra of “spend five minutes to save them five.”
For example, I assume that the investor is very busy and possibly on the go in between meetings and it may be time-consuming for them to type a long response. So to make it easy, I’ll type up a number of likely options and label them as A, B, or C…. then they can simply respond with “B” and be on their way, rather than having to type a longer reply.
Overall, if I can save them one minute by spending an extra five, it’s a high ROI when it comes to creating a remarkable investor experience.
Cody Manning, Marketing Support Specialist
As a Marketing Support Specialist, my role does not involve a lot ‘direct’ communication with investors. Rather, I work to ensure that their wishes are carried out and their goals are achieved by collaborating with the team members that do speak with them directly.
This adds an extra layer of detail since it’s up to me to be certain that nothing gets ‘lost in translation.’ The risk, of course, when you’re getting tasks secondhand is that a small detail is left out and an investor is left unsatisfied. To help avoid this, I make sure that I not only get the task from my fellow team member, but I also go back and read the investor’s own words. This helps to ensure that their wishes are being followed as closely as possible and that nothing falls through the cracks.
By utilizing tools such as Slack, Basecamp, and Teamwork, I’m able to review all communication regarding a specific task directly from the investor. This means that nothing gets missed, nothing gets lost, and everything is searchable.
It’s the little things that result in a Remarkable Client Experience, and I work to make sure that those little things are never overlooked.
Stephanie Coradin, Executive Assistant to CEO
We strive to maintain remarkable client experience on a daily basis. This means making sure that we are speaking the investor’s language and ensuring that we make things as easy as possible for the investor.
When I send an email to a investor, I try to think about all the follow-up questions that may come from the information I am providing and answer those questions as much as possible in the initial correspondence. This helps avoid too many back-and-forth emails, which in turn can save the investor some much needed time.
Jordan Mann, Content Marketing Writer
When sharing content drafts with investors, we often provide them with drafts in batches of a few at a time instead of one-at-a-time. This allows the investor to review what we provide them in a broader context. It also makes it easier for them to review and approve more content in a single sitting.
Anish Trehan, Lead Web Designer
When sharing design drafts with investors, we make sure to have a web URL with proper labels instead of providing them with the plain image. We make sure to incorporate all the requirements of the investor along with the best market practices, to give our investors the best results and [ensure that] they get the remarkable return of investment.
Also, we make sure to provide them with a few variations of the same design drafts, where we follow the direct directions in one variation and provide another variation showing what works best in the market. Also, we provide them with as much context as we can that relates to the design drafts, so that it doesn’t leave investors wondering why we provided them with the variations without them asking.
Mary Blackiston, Content Marketing Specialist
I don’t work directly with our investors, but one thing I have found is that good communication starts internally. In order to provide remarkable experiences (and communication) for our investors, first and foremost, we need to make sure that we are all communicating effectively as a team.
One thing that I try and do is clarify things at the end of each meeting. So to make sure that nothing was lost in translation (which inevitably happens sometimes), I will go over the main takeaways and the next steps. This helps to ensure that we are all on the same page before moving forward.
Now it’s your turn to share. What do you do to ensure effective client (or investor) communication? Don’t be shy! Share with us in the comments below.