This is part in our ongoing series, A Better Agency, which looks at many of the difficulties that can arise when working with an agency, and what Forthea is doing to overcome it.
At Forthea, we believe that communication with our clients is the key to a successful agency relationship. After all, the client-agency relationship is a true partnership. We take pride in developing that partnership with clients as we work towards their digital marketing goals. We believe that it’s important that we communicate often with our clients and receive feedback.
When we talk to prospective clients who are looking to change agencies, a lack of communication is almost always on the top of their list. Whether they aren’t getting the attention of new clients, or reporting has fallen away, once an agency and client lose touch, it can be difficult to regain a productive relationship.
One of the ways we ensure constant communication is by encouraging monthly review meetings, in addition to always being available. Monthly meetings are vital for our online campaigns so we can open a line of dialogue with the company while building trust and to assess the type of leads we are driving. Through these regular interactions, we can find what they find valuable and what is not. These meetings also plays a part in being transparent with our clients, communicating both good and bad results. While we always experience joy in helping our clients, it’s important for them to know when something may not have worked out as planned and that we are always seeking ways for continuous improvement.
When Client Relationships Go Wrong
There are times when a client relationship can go wrong and the biggest indicator is when a client disappears for months without returning emails or phone calls. During these times, this can cause a delay in getting approvals for PPC and SEO changes including ad copy, appropriate analytics access, website access, on-page optimizations, strategy etc.
In worst cases, this can take place during the design and development phase of a new website, stalling the entire project. Constant communication is important for any development project, especially when needing feedback on design mockups for a site. Assets for the development project are also needed from the client in terms of content and imagery. If a client stops returning emails or phone calls, this may lead to a delay in the timeline of the project and execution.
From a client’s perspective, there are times where you are in complete overload with your work and managing the relationship with your agency falls to the bottom of your to-do list. You have meetings and deadlines within your company and it may be difficult to stay in constant communication with your vendor to approve content, attend report review meetings, etc.
Some of the information in our reports can be high-level especially in the beginning stages of the partnership, so it’s always important to ask questions and provide feedback to your agency.
The relationship between the client and agency is a true partnership, which includes involvement for the parties to ensure success.
How to Get Client Communication Back on Track
When a client does go unresponsive, we usually will request a reoccurring monthly meeting for a day that works best for the client. By scheduling these monthly meeting or calls, we set the expectation with the client to stay in touch on an ongoing basis and eventually we can meet every other month as time goes on.
If a client doesn’t have stake in the relationship, it’s easy for them to let communication and approvals slip, so we do our best to engage with our clients at every step or our clients may begin to look elsewhere.
It’s important that both parties are honest and transparent with each other to provide value. As an agency, it’s part of our responsibility to see what our clients prefer for communication and how best we can partner with them.
If a client simply does not want to participate and engage with us on a reoccurring basis, especially in the beginning of the first year, then as an agency, we may not see ourselves as the best fit to partner with if we are not able to communicate and receive feedback. After all, the best partnerships we have been a part of consisted with communication as key. Thankfully, we have not had to endure the latter. If you’re looking to form a partnership, drop us a line!
If you enjoyed this post, please consider reading our previous entries into A Better Agency.