In this recent article in Spin Sucks, President Steve looks at ways to make any client feel like our only client.
It’s so easy to become addicted to growth when you’re in the middle of it.
Let’s imagine a world where everything is going right for your agency.
You’re the Beatles of the agency world.
Clients are constantly rushing the stage, cash in their hands, begging to work with you and swooning.
You appreciate adoring fans.
They are rewarded with backstage passes and receive unprecedented access and VIP attention.
You start divvying these passes, and before long, you have a stadium full of fans who all have backstage passes.
And there’s the problem.
If your agency gives each and every interested fan a backstage pass, no one gets legitimate VIP access.
Suddenly, your fans would be better off watching the show from home.
Can’t Buy Me Love
It’s great to watch the money roll in, but taking on more clients than you can service is the slow and silent killer of success.
According to one study, American companies lose approximately $41 billion every single year because of floundering client service.
In this case, similar to what The Notorious B.I.G. poignantly said, “…the more money we come across, the more problems we see.”
I Want to Hold Your Hand
Much like dining at a fancy restaurant, the old adage of quality over quantity stands true with client service.
There might be far fewer tables at a fine-dining establishment than an Applebee’s—and the portions may be smaller—but you better believe the ingredients are top-notch, the waiters are highly attentive, and the kitchen takes great care in preparing your meal.
Instead of treating your client roster like an all-you-can-eat buffet, keep it at a size that allows you to provide first-class service.
When you overindulge, something as simple as promptly responding to emails can easily fall by the wayside.
When you focus on things such as proactive communication and speedy delivery, clients will have nothing but fond things to say about you—and this inevitably translates to joyful testimonials, referrals, and long-term mutually beneficial partnerships.
Furthermore, when clients spread the good word about your reputation, the best and brightest candidates will flock to your future job openings, eager to join a team that treats its clients the right way.
Eight Days a Week
The perks of making every client feel like your one and only are clear.
Making this happen, though, requires a few key cultural and strategic adjustments:
- Embody service to your core. To say you provide remarkable client service is not enough. Client service needs to be holistically ingrained into your core values, and the entire team needs to buy into it. When leaders walk the walk and bend over backwards to make clients look like rock stars, employees will follow suit. When every member of your team is dedicated to a client-service culture, clients feel like they’re your one and only.
- All hands on deck. Your account teams shouldn’t be the only people communicating with clients. Add a high-touch aspect to the relationship by periodically having managers or senior leaders join strategy sessions. Incorporating senior-level input to the equation builds trust and shows your agency is devoted to its clients’ success.
- Listen. Unfortunately, a majority of clients currently feel like agencies are more focused on showing off than listening to and solving their problems. Even if you are the expert in this relationship, your clients should still have the ability to provide opinions, input, and advice. Go out of your way to gather and respond to client feedback on a regular basis. Show them you value their opinions and want to ensure your strategies are aligned. Simply asking, “What do you think?” when presenting an idea can make all the difference.
A Hard Day’s Night, but Not for Client Service
In a world where flashy marketing awards are treated like currency, it’s easy to forget the client service tenets that build unbreakable bonds.
For me, as the leader of an agency, nothing feels better than speaking directly to clients and hearing firsthand how happy they are with my team and our output.
Structure your agency in a way that prioritizes top-notch customer service, and keep your client roster at a manageable size.
It’s tempting to overreach, but when you’re able to tell each client you’re happy just to dance with them, you’ll find there’s plenty of time for you and your clients to twist and shout with excitement and satisfaction.
image credit: shutterstock