How often have you recommended to a client that they conduct research among their own customers to gauge overall satisfaction and uncover what they value about the relationship to your client’s company or brand? You’re astute enough to know that armed with customer satisfaction data, you can more knowledgeably guide that client in everything from customer acquisition to integration of sales and marketing to customer retention. Now, how often have you thought about the need to understand the satisfaction of your agency’s clients? The fact is agencies tend to avoid client satisfaction surveys for two reasons: We’re either afraid to ask the big questions for fear we might hear something we don’t like, or we assume everything is good because they are still with us. Both ways of thinking can lead to missing an opportunity to fine-tune your relationship with your clients, or more importantly heading off an impending disaster. As an agency owner, you shouldn’t be involved in every detail of what’s happening between your clients and your agency. But, that doesn’t mean you should operate within a vacuum either. If you have an established “one-on-one” meeting process in place between you and your direct reports, and those direct reports have the same established with staff members they manage, then you should have a general awareness of what’s happening with clients. Your responsibility is to ensure that the management of client relationships is carried out in a manner consistent with the agency’s core values and service philosophy. There may be periods of time when that’s not happening, resulting in a slow erosion of confidence between the client and the agency. Simple ways to gauge client satisfaction That’s why it’s smart to periodically engage your [...]
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.
Client retention strategies are critical in your agency -- especially considering one third of all advertising agency clients expect to change agencies within the next 12 months. Let me rephrase that for you -- one third of all clients are going to FIRE their current agency within the next 12 months. Do you think that your marketing agency is the exception to this rule? Are you 110% confident that every client you have can't imagine doing business without you? Here are the big reasons clients cite for making the change: A leadership shift within the client (usually at the CMO or Director of Marketing position) Frustrating business results Can't track, monitor or proof any progress The core relationship between the agency and client is strained Agency performance is underwhelming Agency never brings us new/fresh ideas Agency was gung ho to get us, now we're just one of many And the #1 reason among those -- the last one. They don't feel courted anymore. They're not your special, most favorite client. So I am point blank asking you: hey advertising agency -- are you about to be fired? How do you know? Do you have any client retention strategies in place? How do you know if your relationships are at risk? Here are a couple ideas. Here are a couple of ideas to consider as part of client retention. Ask. I know it sounds simplistic but when was the last time you had lunch or a drink with a client and just asked for honest feedback? Don't do it over the phone, over email or for the love of Pete, over a text. Set up a specific meeting just for this conversation. Give them some feedback on how you [...]