One of the best compliments my agency ever received came from a client who said he never felt like we had our hand in his pocket. We were putting his interests ahead of our own, and that is usually the best way to build trust. Yet, as good as that comment made me feel, it wasn’t enough. Sure, it indicated we were satisfying our client, but if over-serviced clients are satisfied with your work, you may be in trouble. Clients don’t want to be “satisfied” with their marketing agencies. They want to be wowed. And that means they want to be over-serviced. But there’s a danger there, too. Offer too much, and you could be hurting your agency’s future. The Over-servicing Clients Tipping Point You need to over-deliver, but you and your employees should also remember you’re not running a charity. If over-servicing starts to eat through your profitability, you have a problem. It starts with your account executives. One of the most dangerous habits for any AE to develop is to think of themselves as a customer service rep rather than a business growth specialist. When that attitude spreads to the whole agency, you’ll start to see: Unrealistic expectations from your clients. If you always over-service a client, the marginal value of that effort will diminish. The client will become overly demanding and expect you to keep upping the ante, possibly expecting you to deliver work even faster, or at a significantly reduced cost. And those favors could hit your business hard. Low (or no) profitability. An agency client of mine worked with the same large client for years. They never modified their agreement, and after a few years, the agency was working for $40 an hour when most agencies were charging $150 an hour. The team was [...]
As an agency owner you know how valuable effectively managing the client-agency relationship is. But it's getting tougher every day, as clients choose to work with multiple agencies and push for measurable metrics that proof that they money they invest with you is turning into leads and sales. So how do you earn that loyalty with your clients? That's part of the conversation I had on my podcast, Build a Better Agency, with Scott Monty, from Scott Monty Strategies, who used to be Ford Motor Company's Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager. Along with how you go about managing these relationships with your clients, Scott talked about his days at Ford and how he dealt with his multiple agencies and how they did/did not earn his trust and loyalty. We also dug into how agencies can bring a different level of digital strategy to their clients and where professionals can look for strategic inspiration. You'll love his candor and his hard-earned client side advice. To listen – you can visit the Build A Better Agency site (https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/scott-monty/) and grab either the iTunes or Stitcher files or just listen to it from the web. If you’d rather just read the conversation, the transcript is below. If you're going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn't you get the benefits, too? Welcome to Build a Better Agency where we show you how to build an agency that can scale and grow with better clients, invested employees, and best of all, more money to the bottom line. Bringing his 25 plus years of expertise as both an agency owner and agency consultant to you, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan. Drew: Hey, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to another episode [...]
Is there such a thing as a loyal client? I think we all know a few. But the truth is, most agencies hang onto a client for 3-5 years and then they're looking around. If we're really honest with ourselves -- some of the blame for that disenchantment sits at our feet. When we're chasing a new piece of business, we are on our first date behavior. We listen intently, respond instantaneously and we go out of way to be smart, witty and a snappy dresser. We wine and dine them, literally and figuratively and no one matters more. But once the deal is done... over time, we get a little sloppy. It doesn't matter if the work you're doing for them is digital, traditional or a blend. We don't wine or dine very often anymore. I know, I know -- you're busy doing the work and they should know that you still love them because you're busting a hump for them. There's more to keeping your clients loyal than just working hard. Agency Post asked me to explore this topic and offer up some advice on how to nurture your accounts so at the end of the day you can earn a great profit and a loyal client. Check out my article How to Stop Your Clients from Shopping Around. I'd love to get your take on this topic.