In a bubbly and creative world of digital marketing, it is not always easy to establish and sustain a harmonious relationship between an agency and a client. Change of circumstances is a valid cause for a client to change the agency but misunderstandings and an unprofessional stance are something to be entirely avoided.
The rapport between these two parties is crucial for the agency not just in terms of profit but also reputation because word of mouth is still an important channel of communication. So, here are five things to keep in mind so that the client relationships of your agency can blossom.
Providing smooth onboarding
For the cooperation to run smoothly from the beginning, you need to make sure that every step is welcoming, starting with the onboarding process. The first meeting that should be organized involves the sales team giving away the client to contact people. Next, you would have an internal meeting where the team members would get acquainted with the client and individual tasks and obligations would get distributed. The final meeting in this cycle is the one where the client meets the team that would be working on their project and this is the right time to present your agency in a good light and to show them your team’s dedication, efficiency, and expertise. From the perspective of the client-agency relationship, this client kick-off meeting needs to be brief, informative and prepared in advance.
Understanding their needs
One-size-fits-all is not the strategy you wish to be popular for in the digital marketing business so always keep in mind that you have to approach each client differently. For instance, if your prospective client is an ambitious startup company whose experience in marketing is limited, you will have to dive into their plans. Once you understand what their short and long-term plans and ideas are, you will be able to come up with a tailored strategy for their business. Many small business owners set broad goals which lack definition and just like everyday goals, in order to know how to approach them, they need to be analyzed and narrowed down. This is an area where you might offer some advice but strictly in the marketing domain.
Handling disagreeable situations
Every once in a while, an uncommon situation happens and the manner you react says a lot about your business experience and your willingness to improve a potentially rocky client relationship. If the issue is a misunderstanding on your agency’s part, you have to make sure your apology is quick and honest, and if it is on the part of the client, it is necessary to find an unbiased way to present the issue. An unpaid invoice is an unpleasant topic but if it is vital you approach it rationally and calmly. However, in cases as such, besides being understanding of your clients’ issues, you also need to think about your own small business finance and consider using the unpaid invoices as collateral. This would ensure you have a healthy operational cashflow and that your agency’s growth doesn’t depend on individual clients.
Grounds for sound communication are erected during the onboarding process, where the needs and strategies are shared. Throughout your collaboration, both parties need to be frank about each aspect in order for everything to work. That level of sincerity is possible only if there is regular communication – both parties need to find time for briefings and meetings and your clients need to provide you with honest and constructive feedback about your work. You would need to recap what was done and analyze the efficiency through website traffic and leads so you can adjust the goals. Naturally, since your digital marketing agency has more than one client and you must be busy, you can presume your client is as well, so it is crucial you respect their time and avoid canceling at the last moment.
Building a partnership
For this relationship to work, it has to be more of a union and, in a manner, your team needs to be a continuation of their company’s marketing vision so the members are to be chosen wisely. This partnership is a two-way street and one party’s success reflects the success of the other. You need each other’s productive support to achieve the planned goals and honest feedback to adjust and improve certain practices. Since an effective digital marketing campaign is a complex project which takes time to create and maintain, cooperation is the key as well as respecting the expertise and experience of the other party.
Since the marketing campaign is the face of a business, it needs to be tailored exactly to the business’ needs. If your agency is in charge of some business’ marketing campaign, you first have to get to know them, gather a team which will be in charge of their project and create a bond. The team members should be communicative and dedicated to their project as if they were performing it for their own company.
However, in order for the campaign to be effective, you have to deepen that relationship and create an atmosphere of understanding which will be reflected in the way you communicate and handle unpleasant situations. Nurturing this relationship is a way to ensure a long-term and prosperous collaboration.