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5 top tips to improving client relationships

The Chase has worked with some of its clients for decades. The agency's creative director Richard Scholey shares five tips for happy, long-lasting client relationships.

01. Don't get too cosy

You’re only as good as your last job. Ok, if you’ve been working together for five years you might be able to get over a slight blip, but never get complacent. Don’t wait to be pushed: push yourself – and always push the brief.

02. Smile through it

All clients have the odd, unreasonable deadline. Yes, it can be frustrating, but often it’s due to factors outside of their control so don’t get shirty or defensive – just pull out all the stops when you need to. We have often helped clients out when they have been let down by other agencies at the last minute, or had an urgent request from the powers above. There is nothing guaranteed to cement your relationship more than saving the day when clients are in trouble.

03. Face-to-face meetings

Make the effort to go and see your clients or invite them to see you. It’s so easy nowadays to work remotely through email, WeTransfer and the occasional phone call, but you can’t beat a face-to-face get together. Think how hard it would be to have a strong relationship with your friends or family if you never actually saw each other.

04. Be proactive

Think about how you could improve what you do for your client. It could be creatively, or client service-related: there will always be ways to improve. Also, don’t sit there waiting for a brief to come in. Come up with your own, and ask your client: ‘Have you ever thought of doing this? Have you seen what the competition are doing?’

05. Make it enjoyable

You have to deliver a highly professional service, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Nobody likes to work with a prima donna: life’s too short. There are many designers out there ready to take your place.

This article was originally published in Computer Arts magazine issue 260. Buy it here.

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Nick Carson
Nick Carson is a content strategist and copywriter, and former editor of Computer Arts. He is also chair of judges for the Brand Impact Awards.