Know more on how to set client expectations by reading this guide

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One of the major factors on which your SEO agency success depends is how well you manage your client’s expectation. But sometimes clients set such unrealistic expectations that you end up making them unhappy. When you will fail to keep up your client’s expectations, you will put your collaboration with your client in disaster.

Mostly such problems arise between an SEO agency and its clients due to some reasons, like:

  • Rushing of projects to your agency without proper understanding of the requirements.
  • When your agency and client both are not aware of what is expected of them.
  • Sometimes clients keep an expectation of getting involved throughout the duration of projects and makes excess interference, which creates disturbances.
  • Clients over expectation to get rank on page 1 for a particular keyword.
  • Clients sudden need for more traffic for getting more sales
  • Clients giving very less time for reaching target

Whatever may be the problem when both the clients and agency are well aware of each other’s expectation, then it can be better handled. By adopting a properly defined, repeatable process, you will be able to solve all the issues that arise because of client’s expectations. When you will manage your client’s expectation successfully, that will directly ensure customer satisfaction. They will find your agency very supple, cooperative, prepared and capable.

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Your agency’s reputation will decide your customers holding and purchase (and vice-versa). Therefore, looking at such scenario, the deliverance of smooth practice that will satisfy your client’s expectation will help in the development of your business. But without setting certain rules of engagement, you cannot expect a client to get satisfied with your work. Do not just hope for the best by completing the task, but try to complete with best possible ways.

Now let’s discuss on few tips that can help you in better management and setting of your client’s expectations:

1. Setting proper goals:

You can get success in marketing partnership without setting some specific goal that will be in alignment with your client’s goals. Setting a mutual goal will help you and your client to remain on the same page and in reaching your required target. Once goals are mutually set, make them clear not to make any change at the last minute or start any type of campaigning in the middle. Or if any request is made by them for change in the midway of your work, first observe whether the changes are helping in reaching the goal first or it is distracting you in completing the work in time. Accordingly, you can decide the matter with your client.

From the beginning, make it clear to the client that mostly midway changes of work that causes distraction will not be entertained by you. This way you can reach your target first and can stop your client from making any type of unrealistic expectations in the middle of the work. Any distractions made by the client, point them towards goals that were set from the beginning.

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2. Make proper plan for all your projects:

Sometimes the client chooses to remain unaware of the detail of how the work is done or about its process and is only interested in knowing about the desired outputs of his work. But in that case, also from the beginning, you should make a proper planning of the work within certain timelines.

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Whenever the client wants to know about the status of the work, he should be able to point how much the work has progressed just by looking at the set timelines for each task. This is another way by which you can manage his expectations, as the plan that is made from the starting will outline about the deadlines that a client should expect from you. Your team will also work accordingly for delivering the work in time. Thus, both client and your team will remain on track.

3. Be well aware of the consequences if suddenly plan doesn't work out:

There are very less or almost no works where there will be no hurdles or setbacks. Therefore, before starting of work you should know what the possible setbacks are and how you can avoid it. This involves adding a line to your settings before starting work that if consents are missed then the deadline will return back and replicate the delay in agreement from the client.

Another important point under these is that you should make an active conversation with your client about what all risks are involved in the project and if such risks arrive what are your necessary actions to prevent them and all about your back up plans. After all, it is your agency duty to the delivery in time. Therefore, you should be well aware of all the factors that can stop you from reaching your target in time. This will make the client think that things will always go smoothly and he will remain free from stress throughout the process.

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4. You should set expectations about the way your agency works:

One of the best ways to effectively manage your client’s expectation is by developing trust. While setting and planning about the project with your client, make him aware of the way your team carry out all tasks.

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Always keep him well communicated with all the persons who will get involved in his work. Try to discuss with him about all the promises you make like

  • No hidden charges
  • If something comes midway that is out or your scope, the agency will inform him
  • If any additional cost arises midway, then you will provide him with written approvals.

If he is a new client, then giving a clear understanding of everything about your agency is necessary. This will help him in setting his own expectations and in the other hand will help you manage both work and clients in a better way.

5. Always keep clarity:

While dealing with the client, it is always better to remain transparent about what you can do, and what you cannot so. Making false promises will make your client expect too much from you thereby putting you in the problem.

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Sometimes, clients want the work exactly same as their own wants. They will not tolerate even a small distraction. Such clients can put you in trouble if you do not make them clear about your capability from the beginning itself. Share with them all case studies, about your previous works and about how you deal with your previous clients, what were their expectations and how much you were able to keep. This will make the client understand your level of work and accordingly they will set their expectations. Don’t make a mistake of doing false promises, in a hurry of getting the project fast from him.

6. Make your client understand the marketplace and marketing trends:

A number of clients are there who thinks that as they have made a process plan they must get every journalist call, or they can generate 20000 leads per month for their blog or simply there will be 500 shares of their article. This is simply a case of over expectation by your client. Therefore, it is very important for you to make your client understand that every task occurs in terms of marketing erudition and maturity.

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Give them a proper idea about the steps they have to cross to reach the required goals. If the client has first time come into digital marketing, then you will have to put extra effort to manage the client’s expectation for getting name and fame quickly.

7. Try to give deadline few days ahead of times you think you can complete the work:

Sometimes when you get a big project, you might get tempted to promise the client that you will make your deliverable in less than 30 days. While making face to face conversation with your client, if he says that he wants the work completed by next month, then in an eagerness of getting the deal finalized, you might say that you will complete it within 20 days. But this is the point you are making mistake. While saying keep in mind that client will only remember the date. Then later, if any unexpected problems come, he will not listen to it. This will ultimately result in loss of trust. Therefore, while fixing deadline always keep few days ahead in hand, so that you can effectively manage the problems that arises midway.

8. Hire Best Resources and Keep their Skills Polished:

Your team is your power. So, choose them wisely. It is required that you always hire the best SEO marketers and experts. Also, keep them well-versed with the latest-arriving SEO updates and technologies to learn. If they are proficient and working perfectly, your clients’ will like the work too.

9. Maintain a good communication:

One of the best options for keeping up with your client’s expectation is a good communication. The more you communicate with him, the more he will get clarified about your works and your capabilities. But sometimes it happens in a rush to get the project some agencies often fail to make a good communication from the beginning itself. He makes assumptions and makes promises that he cannot accomplish. Such things will take you in the wrong direction and will kill your client’s trust on you. Therefore, always try to give very clear and viable information to your clients, which will keep him well informed about the progress of the project and how you are working to get him his goal.

This approach will build a stronger relationship between you and your client and he will hire your agency for his works. Everyone should be well informed about the approaches, the proposal, the actions and all the steps involved in carrying out the tasks. Moreover, the agencies should make it clear from the beginning to clients about their requirement while carrying out each task and similarly, clients should make it clear about at which point he will require a response and broadcasting.

10. Always keep your plans flexible:

We all know that SEO trends keep on changing. Something that is working now, may not be effective tomorrow. Therefore, you should be well aware of all the changes that occur in intervals. Not only that, you should also make your client well aware of this concept, especially if the client is new to the digital marketing world. Always try to keep all your plans flexible from the beginning, so that if any changes come midway in SEO, you can easily handle the situation.

Other Factors which Count

Apart from all these major tips, some other small factors that can help your agency in meeting the expectation of your clients are:

  • You should ask your clients about all offline enterprises as well as the company branding that will help you in working more efficiently.
  • Your agency should set goals for some small intervals of 2 months or 3 months. This will help both clients and your agency in remain in the top of your priorities.
  • Even if you plan from the beginning of the process of your work but always be prepared for a little change and remain flexible.

We all know that SEO is one of the most reputed marketing pathways that any business can make the investment. Expectation-setting with the clients is an integral point for a successful association. But due to lack of some necessary steps by SEO agencies, businesses are afraid of putting their money. Therefore, it is highly important for all the SEO agencies to remain firm in their commitments and deadlines that will help them in satisfying their clients’ needs and requirements.

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