In today’s fast-changing, competitive business environment, excellent customer service is essential for success. In fact, client service is arguably the key to differentiating your business from the competition and the best way to retain your customer base. If you want to run a successful advertising or marketing agency, your number one job is to foster a group of happy, long-term clients.
In the words of Montell Jordan, This is how we do it… ♬
Client Retention Tip #1: Know your clients better than they know themselves
Whilst the original job vacancy you went for was probably something along the lines of “Account Manager”, Detective Inspector is undoubtedly the real role you opted for within Client Services of a marketing agency. Trust me, Vera doesn’t have a patch on us! What a client says they want and want they ACTUALLY want are often 2 very different things. Take time to listen to your client and invest in getting to know their business objectives like the back of your hand. By being a good listener, you can uncover the real nuggets of insight and think beyond the deliverables to ensure that you meet not just your client’s expectations but their management’s expectations too.
Client Retention Tip #2: Develop personal rapports.
Why should everything revolve around business? It’s a ‘people person’ industry after all 🙂
Client Retention Tip #3: Accept that your clients are always busy.
It’s sometimes one of the hardest things for client services to accept – but a client’s busy schedule isn’t all moans and groans. At Guerilla we pride ourselves on making our client’s lives easier, and we couldn’t do this without our client’s overflowing diary! While our clients are running in and out of meetings, we set up shop at Guerilla HQ to ensure we have all of the resource in place to become an extension of their brand, working hard to support our client in achieving their desired KPIs which ultimately, they don’t have the time to achieve on their own. So, whilst we can’t always get through to them on the phone when we need to, we are always at the end of ours.
Client Retention Tip #4: Understand that communication and organisation come hand in hand.
We all know communication is key, but it’s nothing without organisation. For us, these come in equal measure. When you are completing client projects or providing customer service there can be a lot of moving parts, so it can be extremely beneficial to use a project management system or other organization tool to plan key milestones, keep track of tasks and stay on top of deadlines. It can also be helpful to keep detailed to-do lists and organise your emails, so you can easily reference them later. But this has no purpose unless it’s being continually communicated to your client. Your client should never have to track you down to get an update. Share updates as often as possible.
Client Retention Tip #5: Be an educator.
Bad client decisions are often caused by a lack of understanding of what has been done and of the major deliverables. Instead of just presenting the deliverables to the client, educate them about the process that went into creating them and how it fits within the project scope. Explain what each member of the project team did for each task, so they would understand the timelines and dependencies necessary for the project. At Guerilla we don’t just provide the execution – like a vendor does – we focus on being an educator and trusted partner.
Client Retention Tip #6: Develop a red velvet rope policy.
Sure, you need all of your potential clients to be able to afford your fees, but sometimes the clients with the most money will also have the highest demands that inadvertently drain the effectiveness of their own campaigns by limiting creative scope. Find your ideal clients at the intersection of those who can afford your services at a price point that allows you to produce your most effective results for their campaign, and helps you effectively grow your business. A mutual win-win. Once you’ve developed your red velvet rope policy, you’ll have a very clear picture of the RIGHT clients for your agency.
Client Retention Tip #7: Always do the washing up.
If you don’t know how far you’ve come, how will you know where to go to next? Like any responsible company does, you need to measure your client’s ROMI, in order to know the success rate, how to improve, and which strategic or creative direction to go in for next time. Setting and agreeing the key effectiveness m easures from the beginning of a brief is a vital part of any brief, but it is often overlooked. Our expertise helps our clients understand and work out the pros and cons for different behavioural, business, none-econometrics, econometric and payback measures. Once the project is delivered, this is by no means the end of the process. Always schedule a wash up meeting with your client and offer them the chance to give feedback and provide insights as a great way build a long-lasting and meaningful relationship. Prove your success with a balance of the statistics and client testimonials. Hand in hand they are the most powerful tools in your armoury to instil confidence, trust and secure more business for your agency.