Your agency has just scored a new clients. A cool new project, a new learning opportunity, and a chance to show just how awesome you are. You define the goals, the KPIs, and the steps required for success. Then your team works hard to execute and deliver the things required for the client program. There are some tweaks and strategy changes at first, but you quickly zero in on what you and the client want, and begin delivering it. Soon you’ve gotten into a rhythm with your team churning out the daily/weekly/monthly deliverable right on schedule. Everything seems to be right on track and going great. And that’s when your client dumps you.
Why Don’t They Love You Anymore?
Complacency is the killer here. Sure you were delivering what was asked for but you were only delivering what was asked for. When you’ve got everything down to a set process, you’ve now created something that anyone can deliver and almost never delights. You’re providing no unique value. Nothing that another agency can’t provide. Why should they stick with you, when it should be fairly simple to recreate the process with internally (or with another agency) which may offer move value, lower cost, of better execution/return?
Through talking to friends at numerous agencies, it seems we many get into these rhythms for efficiency sake (like any other job in non-agency work). This allows us to take on additional client work from other projects and maximize our workload. While it’s great to allow less people to tackle more client work, it also usually means that clients begin to get neglected. No longer are they being given work that surprises, delights, and is beyond expectations, but instead just the minimum to meet the agreement requirements. Soon they lose the reason to continue to push for budget to pay an agency that’s only doing the bare minimum required.
Bring Back The Love
So how can you keep your clients happy? Stop treating them like just another project and just another number. Take the time to make sure they feel special and bring something special to their programs. You don’t have to blow up your hours to do it but take a little extra time to find opportunities to do things beyond just the current scope of their contract. And don’t offer to do these extras if they pay you more to do them. Then they aren’t extras. Do these things because it makes your program stand out and it shows them the real value your agency provides.
These value adders don’t have to be daily (though the best agencies will strive to show them frequently) but make it a reoccurring event to look for ways to show your client you bring more than just what they’re asking for. This could be additional insights, competitive analysis without them having to request it, or showing social and other marketing opportunities they may not have considered. Show you aren’t just focused on their contracted deliverables but really want to help them go beyond with all of their marketing. Show them you love them and aren’t just a group that carries out tasks robotically.
Beyond The Contracted
Finding ways to give your clients more than just what they’ve asked for is a great way to show your love and that you value your relationship. It gives them a reason to keep behind you when they’re challenged for hiring someone outside to do a job they may be able to do within their own company. And it shows why you’re the right choice to partner with.
By providing more than what we’re asked for, agencies can stand out and keep clients more than happy. This above and beyond delivery should help increase client retention and will certainly boost client satisfaction. Give it a shot, and go for more than just the gold when it comes to delivering for your clients.