Whether it’s an established client-account relationship or a budding new one, you will always have someone who you will contact when you’d like to start a new task or project, or, heaven forbid, when something goes wrong. And it’s nice to know a few helpful tips to make sure you and your “contact” “project manager” “account executive” or whoever, are both operating on the same wavelength to ensure deadlines are met, free from embarrassing incidents of miscommunication.
1. Express your expectations.
This is probably the first and most important because we want to exceed them. Plus, there’s nothing worse than you and your account manager playing on totally different fields. Clearing up expectations will set the tone for future conversations and establishes a foundation for direct communication.
2. Be as direct and up front as possible.
Don’t worry, we can take criticism. There’s no point in protecting our feelings or the feelings of our designers. We’re professionals and we’d rather get your honest feedback the first time than do ten different revisions to find the perfect logo.
3. Follow up on a project or task.
People get busy and are pulled into different directions at once, we understand this. So we do our best to try to maintain a level of professionalism in not pestering you for content or feedback. As time goes by, you may forget that we were waiting on you. To prevent this, try using a tool called followupthen.com. You can cc an amount of time like[email protected] and a reminder email will email you in 7 days, reminding you that you need to get back to us, or simply that you’d like to check on our progress.
4. At the end of every conversation about a new task or project, ask for a timeline OR, better yet, be clear as to when you would like this done.
Hitting deadlines, as we all know, is very important in every business. That’s why being as concise and as clear on that deadline as possible is critical to eliminate embarrassing miscommunication.
5. Start new emails for new tasks.
Sometimes it can be time consuming to sort through long email chains. I know hitting reply is just easier, but beginning a new email for a new task could help clear up a lot of miscommunication, for you and for us.
6. Don’t be afraid to pester them!
As account managers we love hearing from our clients, especially when they have something good to say. Not particularly when they’re upset, but hey, can you blame us? To prevent this, pester us! Call us! Email us! We’ll be grateful for a friendly check-in rather than an upset phone call about why a task has been taking so long when we weren’t aware of the urgency.
7. While explaining a complicated request you want done in an email, always ask if they are available for a phone call.
Talking on the phone is always more direct and efficient. It clears up most gray areas and takes less time than going back and forth in one very long email chain. It also gives you both a sense of security that the job will get done right the first time.
These little tips aren’t crucial to a good business relationship, but they are helpful and could reduce miscommunication and save some time (maybe even money) in the long run.
Above all, we’re here to help you and progress your business or organization. If there is ever a problem, talk to us. Solid, easy communication is our job.