Everyone speaks about how important it is to have a strong client-agency connection. But how do you go about doing that? Trust.
One of the most important components of a long-term effective agency is trust. It’s also necessary for a successful client-agency relationship. Yet, it’s one of the most difficult things to achieve and one of the simplest to lose.
We’ll go over four essential methods to establish a trustworthy agency and keep clients for the long haul in this post.
There are four important strategies to strengthen client-agency interactions.
1. Say exactly what you mean, and mean exactly what you say.
We learn as children to recognize signs that someone isn’t speaking the truth. For example, your parents threaten you with not being allowed to leave the table until you eat the veggies, but they never follow through. Likewise, your brother always pledges to share their M&Ms with you, but he never does.
As a result, we modify our expectations and behaviors appropriately, and we learn not to trust the individual in the future to prevent disappointment.
This translates to “under-promise, over-deliver” in the marketing and advertising industry. Therefore, setting clear expectations with clients regarding your services is critical for an agency.
2. Be open and honest.
The only thing that sets you apart from the competitors is your transparency. Even though it doesn’t always portray your agency in the greatest light, it’s a distinct advantage that helps boost client retention.
Transparency removes any concerns or doubts a client may have about the value you provide. When you tell the truth about your services, including their limitations, you demonstrate that you aren’t attempting to hide flaws.
Transparency helps you to serve your current agency clients better while also attracting new ones. There are a few methods to keep this degree of transparency with clients:
First and first, inquire about your client’s objectives, followed by the budget. Transparency begins with the initial discovery call. Initiate the conversation by inquiring about your client’s intentions and objectives. Listen to their issues first, then speak. Demonstrate that you understand their needs, and then talk about how you’ll assist them in achieving their objectives.
Provide a point of contact for your client. Give your customer someone to contact on the agency side working on their campaigns, whether you’re a solopreneur or a seven-person company.
Quickly respond to inquiries. Responding to client questions should not take more than a few minutes. If the request is straightforward, answer as quickly as possible. If the situation is more difficult, react and let them know you’ll get back to them as soon as possible. Make your clients feel like they’re the most important people in the world to you.
Allow users to access files and tools. Allow customers to use shared workspaces and project management tools at their leisure. Allowing people to estimate the status of a project or jumping through hoops to discover their files is not a good idea.
Maintain a regular review schedule. Begin a weekly or biweekly review procedure for you and the customer to stay on top of things. You’ll be able to notice any flaws or concerns that need to be addressed. Gather information or catch up on a personal problem.
Openly share info. Clients should be informed about metrics regularly. For example, you may create a data dashboard for clients to view progress and send automated email updates to stakeholders to keep them informed.
3. Establish a customer approval procedure.
You know how crucial it is to gain client approval throughout the creative process as a marketer. Approval processes are a system in which your customer approves every project stage in the same way, from briefing to a conclusion.
There are many distinct activities to prioritize in your process, so think about what’s most important to your client’s business and create a place for it.
Here are some ideas for how you might go about your process:
Consider how you should submit your work. The way you submit the work is the first step in a successful customer approval procedure. Do you communicate through email or a collaborative tool? Who are you going to show the work to? What method is being used to request the changes? You may lay the groundwork for more effective campaigns by deciding how to organize and approve projects.
Include only the most important stages. Examine your internal approval procedure to determine what you can eliminate—unnecessary approvals slow projects. Determine with your customer what criteria are required to go on to the next step of the project.
Know what occurs once you’ve received permission (or rejection). You and your client need to understand what occurs following approvals or rejections and how it fits into the overall project. Then, when tasks are assigned, you may build up a notification system to keep everyone informed about what to do next.
Given that just 54% of clients believe the usual approval procedure is effective, getting it properly may help you build a fantastic connection and increase retention rates. Keep in mind that each agency’s approval procedure is unique. You may provide the groundwork for approvals using these methods, ensuring that the decision-making process is easy, that everyone is held accountable, and that superior work is completed.
4. Maintain open lines of communication between your agency and your customer.
Lack of communication is one of the most critical difficulties between the agency and the customer. Unfortunately, many agencies struggle with over-communicating with clients or under-communicating with clients. You aim to keep clients informed about the status of their marketing or advertising campaign without making them feel confused or disregarded.
Clients may not always be accessible for discussions since they have their own aims and duties to address, such as events, trade exhibitions, blogging, and so on.
However, if your agency fails to meet their expectations, the relationship might become difficult to manage. As a result, it’s critical to transmitting critical information quickly so that everyone is on the same page.
When building a client communication dashboard, be sure you include the following information:
- What is the current state of the project?
- How does your firm offer value to its clients’ businesses daily?
- Week by week, what parts of the campaign should be prioritized?
Gaps in the aforementioned criteria clog up meetings, slow down project development, and generate misunderstanding among your client, teams, and your agency. When you provide customers with this level of transparency through a dashboard, you can demonstrate your agency’s business effect and how it is accomplished.
Creating long-term client-agency partnerships
Whether you’re a digital marketing business or an ad agency, maintaining client connections may be difficult. However, taking a fair attitude to them and adhering to established practices pays off big time.
Consider it a domino effect: the stronger your relationship, the stronger your campaign, the better the outcomes, the more sales you’ll generate.
Once you’ve done it a few times with clients, these four crucial tips will be second nature to you.