Every researcher dreams of having long-term valuable clients and vendors that continuously help advance their own interests. Researchers thrive on repeat business. Having a good relationship with clients is necessary for the success of any marketing research company. It is important to nurture any potential relationships with clients and build on the ones you have.
For those of us seeking to improve, here are five tips to improve client relationship development.
1.) Have the Patience and Time
Good, lasting client relationships don't just materialize out of thin air. If you plan on forging a relationship with a client, you need to make sure that you have the time to do so. If you're particularly busy right now with other research projects, you may want to wait until you have more time to devote to developing a client bond. You also need to have patience. Not everyone works on your schedule, and you must remember that. Be willing to work on the client's time as well.
2.) Always Be Transparent
A good relationship, whether it's a professional or a personal one, is built on trust. The only way to foster trust, especially when you and your client are still getting to know each other, is through honesty. You should not expect transparency from your client, but being transparent yourself will encourage your clients to do so as well. Communication that is consistently honest is imperative for the relationship to blossom. Given that some research questions are quite sensitive in nature, trust is a necessity in market research client relationships.
3.) Learn as Much as Possible
Before you begin building your client relationship, learn as much about the client and their company as you can. Glean some information about how this client does their job. This saves time since you don't need to ask pointless questions that detract from productivity. Your knowledge will also impress the client and promote feelings of goodwill. Every company has a website, so read up more about your client there. If you do have pertinent questions, make sure to bring them up.
4.) Prioritize the Relationship
You will eventually get busy, whether it's with other clients or daily objectives. Don't throw your client on the backburner even during these particularly hectic times. Show with your actions that you remain engaged in the relationship. This will help keep them engaged as well. If your client reaches out to you by phone or email, make the time to get back to them right away. It all depends on the time sensitivity of the topic, but our rule of thumb for an ongoing relationship is to, at minimum, acknowledge receipt within a few hours. If you can't return contact the same day, then reach out the next day at the very latest. Any effective relationship needs regular communication to survive and thrive. Remember this.
5.) Make Long-Term Goals
You are working with this client for a reason. They chose you because you provide a service that others cannot, at least not as well. Similarly, you chose to work with the client. Figure out what kind of plans you can make for the future, such as coming up with a unique research angle, and create goals to make those plans a reality.
By following these tips for client relationship development in the market research industry, you can obtain more clients and enjoy more productive, meaningful associations with them. Your company benefits, as do the clients. Change the success of your company today by improving client relations.