Look we’ve all been there! You’re waiting on the client signing off on something or perhaps you their very specific about what content goes on the website and everything requires approval.
1 – What to do when your SEO client doesn’t get back to you
You’re starting to feel as though you’re spamming their inbox, but when a client doesn’t get back to you, it is hard not to feel frustrated. You’re finding it impossible to move forward on a project without their say so or some additional information that only they can give you, and all the while the clock is ticking away.
Everybody in this business has had, at some point or another, an unresponsive client that fits these credentials, and it can be enough to drive you up the wall.
There’s no reason to panic though as your 3rd email in a row goes unanswered – getting back in contact can actually be more straightforward that you thought. Plus, with a bit of foresight, you can also hopefully avoid this same kind of frustrating situation happening in the future too.
Check out these easy to follow tips to get back in communication with that elusive client.
2 – There are other ways to communicate
If your emails are going unanswered, it could be time for a more direct approach, and there is nothing wrong with picking up the phone. Even if they can’t take your call, it could be just the nudge that’s needed to remind them to reply.
You could also try approaching them on social media with a private message – at least that way you’ll be able to tell if they’ve read it or not! Or there is always the option of inviting them to an online meeting to catch up. When you’re continually waiting for an email response, it could be time to get creative with your forms of communication.
3 – Be clear
When a client is being continually unresponsive, it could simply be that they are a bit confused by what you are asking. If they are more of a traditional business leader, then they may not fully understand what it is exactly that you do for them in terms of SEO, and this could lead them to being unable to make properly informed decisions.
The easiest way to get around this is to be transparent about how you work and your plans for them. Don’t confuse them with jargon they might not understand, and instead explain things in a clear and easy to understand way.
Be ready to answer their questions, get them involved in your plans, and chances are you’ll see them suddenly answering those emails.
4 – Keep it concise
You don’t want to overdo it when contacting a client, so don’t overcomplicate things by inundating them with information that they don’t need. This can again lead to confusion and lengthy response times.
So keep your emails and calls concise and to the point, which will make their decision making and answering a lot simpler.
5 – Choose your questions
In line with keeping your communication concise, choose your questions carefully to get the answers that you’re looking for. This is particularly useful with clients who don’t fully understand SEO – answering straightforward questions is much easier than trying to deduce what it is that you want to know.
Pick just one or 2 vital questions that you need answered so you can move forward with the project, rather than a whole list that could leave the client a bit overwhelmed.
Make it as simple as possible for your clients to make decisions. This is an especially helpful strategy with clients who aren’t well-versed in SEO. You can always provide multiple-choice options too in order to make the process even easier.
6 – Patience is a virtue…
When we’re waiting for a response from a client, it can sometimes feel that you are being deliberately ignored or even worse, totally forgotten. Give your client the benefit of the doubt though, and understand they could simply be carefully considering things over.
Especially if the project you’re working on is big and complex, it might not just be your contact that is involved in the decision making. In which case, gaining approval from other quarters can take time, meaning the slow response is completely understandable.
If possible, give them a week to get back to you, before following up with a polite email asking about their decision, and whether or not they need any more information.
7 – To an extent
In the case that time is seriously starting to run out though, in the politest way possible, let your client know the consequences if they haven’t got back to you within the timeframe.
Perhaps it might involve rescheduling a major deadline, or perhaps the project will fail to get as good results without some vital information that you need.
Don’t get annoyed with the client, but simply be transparent about what’s going to happen, and why you need their input to help ensure the success of the project.
8 – Find another point of contact
If the time is really ticking, and none of the above tips have managed to prompt a response from them, it could be time to get in touch with somebody else at the company.
Especially with a time-sensitive project, you might not have the luxury of waiting for slow responses, so it could be worth having a go at getting a response from someone else that your client reports to or works with. Check out their site, do a bit of investigating, and contact them instead. It might actually galvanise your original point of contact into action too!
9 – How to avoid this happening with future clients
Having gone through this unresponsive frustration with one client, you’ll want to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in the future. This means that you may have to tweak your strategy when signing up new clients.
It’s important to be realistic with them with what you do, and what you can achieve, and also to clearly establish what it is that your client is hoping for in terms of their expectations. A plan and a timeline are important at this stage, and this could also be the perfect moment to discuss how often you can meet once the project has been started. This is the ideal way to let your client know that their input is vital.
When it comes to good SEO results, a good relationship between you and your client is key, since without their participation, achieving the right results is going to be practically impossible.
If they do become unresponsive, then be patient, polite and persistent until you get the answers that you need for a successful project.