TL;DR

What: Empathy is key to keep your clients coming back

Better Agency: How to Win and Keep Clients (Part 1 of 5)

Stop being precious. Think from your clients' perspective.

Better Agency How to Win and Keep Clients
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Creative agencies (the more niche, the worse the phenomenon) are often fixated on their equipment, the specific roles and they lament the pains in the creative process and the unreasonable clients that don’t understand them. This is petulant and irrelevant.

Many agencies start out with its founders wanting to earn more than when they were an employee while still do very much the same things, but find themselves hit with the realities of bills to pay and clients to win. With little to no business experience, few manage to survive and even fewer are profitable enough to scale.

In this five-part mini series, James Ient, CFO at Compagnie Financiere Tradition (CFT), shares quick tips on how to run a more successful agency business.

Neal Moore from Moore’s Lore Media publishes some great work on the area of increasing the success rate for clients engaging creatives – this is wonderful but the creatives and creative agencies themselves need to improve too.

Creative agencies (the more niche, the worse the phenomenon) are often fixated on their equipment, the specific roles and they lament the pains in the creative process and the unreasonable clients that don’t understand them. This is petulant and irrelevant. Good businesses in every sector have one focus and that is to improve the client experience.

Make yourself easy to work with.

Make yourself easy to work with. The businesses I mentor are focused on making the experience focused on ease of client access to them and their service. This means stopping all thoughts of how you want to work and what you want to create and asking simple questions:

  • When are they at work/available in the day (and when are they on leave)?
  • What’s their preferred communication method (and do you use it)?
  • What’s the approval and sign off process (and what are the criteria)?
  • What are your client contact’s own metrics for success and job promotion (and how do you help them achieve these goals)?

Never losing sight of what you were hired to do – deliver the end result on brief and to budget. Without complaints!

Finally, A huge part of thinking from the client perspective is being ROI focused. Steve Aston from GetCraft told me that agencies that focus on reporting the ROI have the greatest chance of maintaining a relationship – this is the true evidence of seeing the work through the client’s lens. You can demonstrate this by sharing your client’s work, feeding back on viewership and audience reach. Stay engaged long after delivery to maintain the relationship.

Coming up next week: How agencies can increase their profits.

This post first appeared on James’ LinkedIn profile.

Featured image of Don Draper from Mad Men.


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After 20 years as a business operator and investor, I know a thing or two about business: When to start, how to scale, what can become sustainable and when to profit. I’m a not a woo-woo strategist – I believe the simpler the solution and the more widely understood the process, the more effective it’ll be.
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