One of the most dangerous traps your agency can fall into is thinking that once you’ve signed a client, your job is done. This mentality is even more dangerous if you or your business development team overpromised and oversold to get the client in the first place.
In fact, signing the client is just the beginning of the work. Maintaining a high level of client satisfaction is critical — and not just for client retention. Just as employers check references and look at a candidate’s tenure with previous companies, new prospects share the same concerns when hiring an agency.
If a potential new client hears negative feedback through word-of-mouth referrals or online reviews, it immediately undermines whatever relationship you have built up to that point and discounts your agency’s credibility. To be fair, every agency is going to have at least a couple of disgruntled former clients, but if your agency is known for over promising and under delivering, or for its struggles with client retention then acquiring new business is going to be an uphill battle.
Although you can’t prevent every client from leaving, you could be chasing clients away without even realizing it. Here are three of the most common reasons why agency relationships fall apart, causing clients to walk out the door.
Allowing the Quality of Service To Slip:
Allowing your customer service to decline once you’ve secured their business is one of the top ways to ensure that you lose that client. Your level of service and excitement should stay the same during your working relationship as it did when you were pursuing the client. Letting the amount of attention, care, and creativity decline will lead clients to believe that they aren’t as important as they were before, which will lead to discontent with the product they are paying for, and eventually they will move to another agency.
Not Meeting Their Needs/Evolving With Them:
Don’t let them get bored with you! If a client feels that you are out of new and exciting ideas for them, what reason do they have to stay with you? Just because a campaign has been successful, doesn’t mean that you get to stop innovating. Successful agency/client relationships are built on an ever changing and improving flow of ideas and communications, when you stop listening to your client and anticipating their needs, the odds that you will lose their business skyrockets. Become an expert at anticipating your clients needs, read between the lines if you have to and learn to pick up any clues that might indicate they are dissatisfied. If they appear to be losing excitement over a campaign, chances are it’s time to come up with a new plan.
Toot Your Agency’s Horn:
If your client forgets how successful your agency is and how much quality work you crank out, what is going to keep them with you? Remind them how successful you’ve been with their account, highlight major wins, and always keep a tight handle on their budget. When you stop meeting their needs and either go way over budget, or way under budget, they will start to wonder what they are paying you for.
Clues Your Client Is About to Stray:
If you notice a dramatic change in these three clues, you’re client relationship is likely in big trouble.
Lack of communication – has the client stopped taking your calls or contacting you?
New and Unusual Requests – is the client asking for different or more specific methods of measurement for your service?
Sudden Micro Management – is your hands off client suddenly on top of everything you do?
Stay tuned into your client, keep the lines of communication open, and ASK them if they are satisfied with your service, or if there is something more you can do to meet their needs, doing so might save you from losing their business!