Is it time for couples counseling…for your agency-client relationship?
This might be a strange question—however it’s something your agency needs to deeply consider if your long-term goal is to remain profitable (and sane). Granted, while the majority of your client base is likely a pure joy to work with, there may be some bad eggs that are draining your internal resources and causing your team much unwanted stress and anxiety.
Below we’ve outlined three tips to save your relationship with on-the-rocks-clients before signing the paperwork for a divorce.
3 Tips to Save Your Relationship:
Tip 1: Improve your communications.
To stay on the same page with all of your clients, find out which method of communication is most effective on a client-by-client basis.
When onboarding a new client, ask during the discovery process if they prefer to receive status updates via email, regular phone calls, a project management platform, a carrier pigeon, smoke signals, etc. You should also gauge the frequency that each client would like to be contacted.
If possible, try to work within the client’s preferred method of communication. If they don’t have one, provide your own. Integrated project management software is ideal because it enables you to consolidate all client conversations around the specific project or campaign being discussed.
Tip 2: Know when it’s time to create boundaries.
Be upfront with clients about the importance of avoiding last minute revision requests, or continuous changes to campaign strategies and projects.
If this becomes a perpetual problem, establish a deadline that the client must meet for any changes to be incorporated. Next, clearly communicate that there will be an additional fee for any requested changes past this deadline. This will hopefully help save your team from hours of endless revisions and rework.
Tip 3: Be a resource for your client.
Position your agency as a valuable partner, not just a vendor. Make it a priority to continuously learn about your clients’ industries. By doing so, your team can continually improve their performance, and you’ll be better positioned to flag trends and see opportunities before the client does. Use these insights to be proactive with campaign recommendations for each client.
If your agency-client relationship still hasn’t mended after adopting all three of these tips, it may be time to part ways. While it’s sad to see a relationship come to an end, at times it’s what’s best for the overall interest of the agency. Create a company culture that proudly produces top-quality work, and you’ll replace your bad-egg clients with all-stars in no time.
How have you overcome a difficult client relationship? Share your tips in our comments section below.
Image Credit: Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig via Flickr Creative Commons