Once upon a time there was a market where demand was higher than the offer but in last few years market developed in such a way that what was working yesterday is just not good enough today, and even needs to be re-invented for tomorrow if we would like to be in business.
Everyone we talk to tells us a similar story: margins are squeezed to the minimum, clients expect new offerings, new fresh ideas and new approach, competitors are better than ever and competition is getting bigger each day. And on the top of that, clients are more educated and more demanding than before.
Having all of that in mind, today is much easier than 10 years ago to lose a good client and watch them go to your biggest rival.
How to stop losing clients
Yep, even in creative industry like yours it is tough to stay on the top and have satisfied clients.
If you would like to keep your renewal lifetime clients happy, a few criteria should be met:
Today more than ever marketing agencies need to be more than just regular service providers. They need to be strategic partners to their clients and be able to make a positive impact on their business. In order to do that, you as digital marketing agency must know your clients industry inside out. By knowing your clients daily business issues, you will be in a position to make proactive ideas that can change their world.
Clients are being asked to deliver more with less and are seeking a “better, faster, cheaper” attitude from agencies all the time. Because we are also in the service business as software development company, we are quite familiar that good – cheap – fast principle is just not working (or really rarely). So one of the options is to always be on the cutting edge with new technologies, new methodologies and new approaches that will give you added value and keep you one step ahead of your competitor.
#Focusing on outcomes
Agencies that focus primarily on deliverables and lack systems to show how those outputs affect clients business will have a hard time proving they are worth the money of their clients. What you could do is to adapt your strategy to be based on performance (outcomes not outputs), and commit to exceeding ROI that is agreed.
# Underpromising, overdelivering
One of the most common reasons why companies switch their digital marketing agencies is because the agencies tend to overpromise what can be achieved for a client. By doing business that way, expectations can get too high and when delivery lacks, client is forced to move on. Beware of that most reasons why relationships go bad is that people don’t manage expectations properly.
There is no free lunch, that is true story and in most cases it doesn’t mean clients don’t want their agencies to make more money, in fact, when a client loves what their agency is doing for them, they will find a way to help the agency grow. But one thing that clients don’t like is when the agency is serving only themselves. For example, if you are recommending some specific media buy because it is best for you because of the commission structure and not for your client it is not going to be good in a long run. If you get your client in a position that he is thinking if you are suggesting some creative idea because you think it will drive his sales or win awards you are losing him. Put your client in first place and they will help you grow on a long-term basis.
Losing a good client is always painful so in order to implement those few strategic habits in company daily operation I would challenge you to do the following (as we did a few years ago):
- make a list of clients that you lost in past 24 months
- contact them in order to collect reasons why they left your company (getting honest feedbackis not an easy task, be prepared for avoiding the real reasons)
- summarize all reasons in Top 5 leaving reasons
- create not more than 2 solutions for each and every leaving reason you got as a feedback
- create a company “Bible” which will describe how you can improve your company culture in order to stop loosing good clients and spread it to your team
Bonus tip: You can also implement solutions of Top 5 leaving reasons into your company mission and vision. This way you can show to your clients that you are constantly learning and developing. You will show to them that you are truly working for their success and giving an extra mile for them.
Extra bonus tip: If you were persistent enough to come to the end here is our bonus – just click here or on the picture below and see how to profile your ideal customers that you will need to take care of in the future as mentioned above.