TEKTOK: Five Client Relations Terms for the AEC Marketer

Feb 28 2024

Five Client Relations Terms and Concepts Every Marketer Should Know


Client relations are a major part of every Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) marketer’s work—from doing it first-hand to involving their firm in the process. Proper client relations require organized systems, the correct mindset, and consistency.


The following terms and definitions were pulled from MARKENDIUM, also known as the SMPS Body of Knowledge.


Client manager  

Individual assigned to clients with whom the firm expects to have an extended working relationship; responsible for nurturing and maintaining that particular relationship.


Click the term’s link to learn more about how you and your firm can create and maintain a client manager system and mentality.


Client relationship management (CRM)

A strategic framework for information management.


CRMs usually involve an organized system or database to track and manage clients, ensuring the firm stays on top of former, present, and future clients and prospects. Without one, your processes are scattered, and it’s difficult to maintain client relationships and successfully forge new ones.


Client satisfaction survey  

Used to gauge clients’ feelings about a firm’s capabilities, staff, level of service, and success at meeting clients’ expectations; often includes elements of perception and market intelligence surveys.


Click the term’s link to learn more about when and how to conduct a client satisfaction—or client care—survey and the essential work they can do for your firm.


Valley of Death  

The typically discouraging early stage of client development during which the amount of time and effort a person puts into development activities does not seem to be reflected in their results.


Marketing isn’t easy—especially in the beginning. Implementing new systems, getting the ball rolling on client prospects, and introducing the firm to an organized focus on clients can be difficult, but do not be discouraged. Continue your work with endurance, and time will reward you.


Zipper Relationship  

The pairing up of multiple relationships between firms and companies so no one contact is the sole connection; individuals leave companies and development of zipper relationships helps preserve relationship longevity.


Client Relations have flexibility, but it’s important to develop close and trusting relationships across many people from both sides, so that if your firm loses a member of the team—or your client loses a member of theirs—you do not completely lose your relationship to a potential client. This is why full-firm client relations are crucial.

As with all marketing, Client Relations are most successful when a marketer is persistent, optimistic, and collaborative. Convert your firm to a marketing mentality to maintain and forge new client relations.

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About The Author

Elise McGregor

As an editor and writer, Elise knows both sides of the process. An increasing number of years under their belt tweaking and creating for the AEC industry has left them with a passion for all the details—from construction processes to declaring achievements. They have a thorough eye, a quick mind, and a reliable internet savvy to boot, allowing a clever attention to detail that whips everything into tip-top shape. Elise is a freelance consultant for the AEC industry.

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