Most client-agencies relationships tend to fail. Why is that? And why are agencies and clients so reluctant to end those quarrels?
Instead of ending your contract with your agency because it “isn’t working properly”, here are five good tips to improve your relationship on the long term and, together, create the best work.
Related Article: 8 Great Questions To Ask In An Agency Pitch
1. Culture fit
To have a strong long-lasting relationship, you have to find the best agency first, it is essential that it fits your needs and objectives, not just from a values-driven perspective, but also and more importantly, on how it manifests in the day-to-day working relationship. You can for instance, if you haven’t already, find the agency that corresponds you the best through Sortlist; the one that has the most similarities with the image and foundations of your company, that would fit best your project and the goals you have and that will provide you the an amazing work through a great relationship.
2. Trust and Collaboration
It is the foundation of great work. Trust between both sides is essential to have the most functioning collaboration. You need to be able to talk to each other, about issues and work.
On the client’s point of view, it is important to value the agency, and see yourselves as trusted partners, working toward the same goals as you.
On the agency’s side, it is essential as well to challenge the client and to spot the next big idea before they do! Basically, you need to take calculated risks together. As it is a partnership, the risks and rewards should benefit to both sides.
3. Honesty and Transparency
Most marketers or agencies think they already communicate about the issues, and that there isn’t anything else they could do about it. It’s not true. To have a truthful and long lasting relationship, you need to identify issues before they explode. An open, professionally managed dialogue is essential for building a strong relationship.
As the client, you have to provide the best information you can, grant time to your agency, and have honest and transparent conversations and speech towards them.
4. Cost Benchmarking
If you happen to think, as a client, “I’m paying too much”, or, as an agency, “I’m not paid enough”, then you should put in practise a cost benchmarking exercise that allows you to understand why are you paying so much or why are you paid so little. It also allows shifting the financial discussion from an emotional to rational one, and invariably cools the temperature down.
5. Problem Resolution
If you have a problem, solve it. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old one, a new one, a small one or an impossible-to-solve one, you need to solve it. Before it gets worse. What’s the biggest problem you’ve been dealing with in the last days/months/years in you relationship? Doesn’t matter how huge it is, take the time needed to fix it. Then you’ll be able to finally move on.
Here you go! You can now build the strongest long-lasting client-agency relationship that’s ever been!