Client love is a whole-agency responsibility
100% of your agency's profits comes from your clients, and that profit pays the wages of every single employee in your agency, whether that person is directly interacting with your clients or not. Therefore the very future of your agency depends on keeping your clients happy.
Client love stretches beyond what the account management team does, and becomes a whole-agency responsibility, one that includes a myriad of client touchpoints.
Why don't you have an agency brainstorm about how each person or department can delight your clients from the minute they walk in the door to the moment they leave? Even if you think you are doing a good job, what could you do to make things better? Remember that EVERYONE (not just account managers) will contribute to the overall client experience - general manager, accountant, designer, cleaner. Here are some ideas to start your brainstorm:
Before people even walk in the door
- Is your building exterior and signage tidy or shabby?
- Is there convenient parking?
- What does your agency website look like? What might clients and potential clients think when they see it?
- What does your reception area look like? Is it friendly, welcoming and comfortable?
- Is your décor "on brand"?
- Do your clients get welcomed when they walk in the door, or are they being ignored?
- Is there an obvious place for people to go (or person to speak to) when they first enter?
- Is there a lolly jar at reception?
- Do they receive a warm smile?
- Are they offered a drink? What is the quality of your coffee like? Do you have a non-dairy milk option?
- How quickly are phone calls being answered? What words or tone are you using for your greeting?
- Is your office cluttered?
- Are the desks a mess?
- Are there dried up pot plants?
- Are there dirty cups or plates on desks or in the kitchen?
- What is the state of the carpet or floors?
- Are the bathrooms clean and tidy?
- Are there cobwebs dangling from the ceiling?
- Is there wallpaper or paint peeling off the walls?
- What type of music is playing? Does it reflect the image of your agency? Is the volume comfortable?
- How fast are you turning around quotes?
- How quickly are you replying to client messages and requests?
- Are you fulfilling your promises? Do you do what you say you will do?
- Are you setting realistic timeframes?
- Do you communicate well with your clients?
- Are you listening to your clients?
- Do you handle complaints well?
- Are you being honest and sincere?
- Are you building trust?
- Do you send birthday greetings to your clients?
- Do you diarise to call your clients, just to see how they are doing?
- Do you provide nibbles and drinks at client meetings?
- Do you take your clients out for a lunch or event?
- Do you support your clients at their events?
- How much do you really know about your clients?
- Are your invoices sent out on time? Are they accurate? Are they sent to the correct person?
- Do you make sure every invoice includes a client's order number?
- Do you address and resolve accounts queries or complaints quickly?
- Are clients notified of additional charges before they are invoiced?
- Are you keeping accurate timesheets?
- Is the production planning efficient?
- Are you turning work around in the timeframe your client expects?
- Are you working within budgeted hours?
- Are you keeping procedures tight?
- Are you keeping internal errors to a minimum?
- Are you catching errors before they leave the studio?
- Are you hitting the brief every time?
When it comes to attracting and retaining clients, it is not enough to offer great creative only. Keeping clients happy involves giving attention to the little things as well as the obvious ones.
Your goal should be to eliminate or minimise all obstacles that keep you and your agency from delivering a great client experience. You will want to create an experience that is so good, it inspires your client to tell others about it – thus spreading the client love!
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