Relationships take a lot of work to get right and strengthen, whether that’s relationships with your friends or the relationship between a marketing agency and their client. It doesn’t always come easily.
Fortunately, you can keep that client-agency relationship going strong by keeping a few simple but important considerations at the forefront from the get-go.
Have you ever found yourself in a relationship riddled with problems that probably could have been prevented from the start? Here’s how to avoid that situation entirely while achieving endless positive outcomes.
Make Expectations and Deliverables Clear from the Start
Every relationship is a compromise, but you can only compromise if you understand what each party wants and what’s expected from everyone.
Sometimes issues arise from a failure to clarify and manage expectations. So rather than expending time and resources on damage control, focus on making everything crystal clear from the start so there’s no room for confusion.
“Treat the client-agency relationship like you would any relationship.”
This starts with the very first point of contact. Don’t assume to understand what the other party wants from you or vice versa— confirm it with them. Be clear on what you’ll be delivering and what they’ll be receiving.
Make sure the objectives are clear and mutually agreed upon. This way your agency has no grounds to suggest in the future that goals were unreasonable or unlikely.
Afterwards, send a recap email to confirm every deliverable and detail. This has the added benefit of creating a tangible record to reflect back on in case of any future confusion.
Treat it as a Two-Way Relationship
Every relationship takes work, and the client-agency relationship is no exception. Both parties must show up and put in consistent effort to keep everything flowing smoothly.
Here’s a tip suited for a blog post riddled with romantic analogies: Treat the client-agency relationship like you would any relationship.
“Never leave the client in the dark.”
Here’s what won’t strengthen that relationship: Ignoring emails. Being condescending. Criticising rather than critiquing.
Here’s what will strengthen the relationship: Having regular check-ins. Using constructive language when talking about problems. Focusing on great communication.
It’s not hard, but it does require a little work from everyone involved.
A little mystery can be exciting— except when you’re paying for a marketing service.
When a client puts their trust (and money) in your agency, they want to be kept in the loop.
Yes, there’s a degree of trust that needs to go both ways. But they also want to be reassured that you’re doing good by them.
Results speak for themselves, but before then, be sure to keep clients in the loop. This means being transparent. One way we do this is through a live reporting dashboard that our clients can access 24/7. This accountability provides the comfort that every client wants.
Some other ways you can remain transparent include minimising confusing jargon, keeping the client informed of any changes to their campaigns or overall strategy, and giving a heads up whenever any issues may arise.
Remember the golden rule: Never leave the client in the dark.
Keep a Growth Mindset
No, this isn’t the part where we start preaching about “manifesting” success. “Growth mindset” may have become a bit of a buzz-term, but it’s essential to growing your client-agency relationship and tackling all future challenges the right way.
This ethos can be boiled down to this simple token of advice: Focus on solutions, not problems.
Flagged an issue with a client’s account? Rather than just giving them a heads up, inform them of the situation while also presenting the actions you’re taking to remedy it. Putting together the monthly report? Add in some suggestions for how you plan to grow those positive results even more.