We at Hawkins International have always prided ourselves in being more than just an ambiguous figure behind an email alias. Our team loves getting to know our clients, understanding key business goals and serving as true extensions of in-house marketing departments. Especially now, it’s becoming more important than ever to continue to foster relationships with clients and provide thoughtful, compassionate counsel in this time of need. When working remotely, the focus is always to remain intuitive and helpful, but how can these virtual relationships thrive? Our team has rounded up a few best practices and tips to stay connected when working from home.
Put Relationships First
Reaching out and having an honest and sincere conversation with your client may sound simple, but it goes a very long way. Keep in mind; it’s not business as usual. Be sure to check in on how they are doing from both a personal and business perspective, and what are the obstacles they’re looking to overcome? This is a challenging time for all, and we, of course, want to be sensitive to that.
Anticipate Client Needs
There isn’t a uniformed template or precise procedure when handling a crisis. Before beginning crisis-focused conversations, it can be beneficial to take a step back and brainstorm a list of situations that clients may currently find themselves in. Developing answers to these questions ahead of time has allowed the Hawkins International team to create timely, detailed briefing materials tailored to immediate needs.
Provide Industry Insight
Now, more than ever, we are the experts and clients are looking to our team to advise on current industry trends. Starting the conversation with ‘this is what we are seeing, and this is what applies to you,’ has allowed us to come to the table with solutions and counsel clients on how to pivot in a time of crisis. In addition to staying up to date on industry news, it’s also helpful to look outside of your realm to see how other industries are handling the current climate – they may inspire the next creative campaign.
Schedule Zoom Meetings
Now that it’s a verb, Zoom away! While practicing social distancing, replace some of your conference calls with video meetings. Your client will appreciate seeing a friendly, familiar face, and face-to-face interactions can help cut down miscommunication over email and allow you to pick up on critical facial cues. If you are presenting a deck or briefing document, send it ahead of time and prepare to launch a screenshare on the video call. All this being said, clients are likely pressed for time right now, so come to every meeting with a clear agenda to stay efficient. A fifteen-minute video call with a clear structure can be much more productive than a 45-minute call with no agenda.
Want to make your video calls event more exciting? Escape (virtually, of course!) with Zoom Backgrounds inspired by our clients’ properties and destinations. Take a look, and download your own here.
Structure Your Emails
Take a moment to review your email communication and make sure that every note you send is easy to skim for important information. Remove fluff and unnecessary information, and, before following up, ask yourself on a scale from 1-5 how urgent the message is? Now is also the time to consolidate. Instead of sending one-off email updates, outline information and next steps in one structured email to ensure nothing gets lost. Highlight, bullet, bold, star or underline important information and deadlines; it’s one of the best ways to ensure that details are not getting lost in your note. Clients may also prefer you text or call to follow up on urgent matters, and trust that you know your client best to make that call!