In business, the client-agency relationship revolves around trust and the belief that each party wants what’s right for the other. But a healthy client-agency relationship is more than just that – it’s also a partnership where both work towards a common goal. Building and maintaining these relationships are vital to agency success.
It goes without saying that communication can make or break a relationship but in marketing it’s even more important.
“With many of us only ever having worked in agencies, we can take for granted that clients understand our processes and how we work. The reality is that they often don’t and we have to take extra care to ensure they are well-informed about the work we’re doing,” says Kyle Warmback, Account Director at AMIN South Africa/Stratitude. “Collaboration thrives when everyone is well informed.”
Frustrations appear when client requests aren’t responded to or they don’t get regular updates.
“Our client service teams know the importance of communication and that even if we can’t answer a question immediately, we should inform the client when we’ll be able to get back to them,” says Morten Høst, Creative Director at AMIN Denmark/Public. “Clients should know that they are always a priority to us, even when we are busy.”
Relationships go pear-shaped when parties are not on the same page, when it comes to what success looks like.
“We make a point of being clear from the very start, when it comes to what a client’s goals are,” says Marloes Kalsbeek, Client Service Director at AMIN Netherlands/Campagne. “By having a shared vision and outlining specific metrics, both the client and agency know what they are working towards and how those outcomes will be measured and evaluated.”
By placing a high value on clear and honest feedback, agencies can build a relationship with their clients that is based on trust.
“As an agency we are not only honest about our strategies, processes and fee structures but also about setbacks or delays that we experience,” says Yasmina Belahsen, Founder of AMIN Morocco/ Maya Digital. “Clients are a lot more understanding when they’re kept updated and know that there’s a plan to address issues. We then also find that clients let us into their world, giving us a better understanding of their challenges and issues.”
Strong communication, open and honest engagement, clear expectations and trust between an agency and its clients, lets agencies build reputations for solid relationships and long-term success.
Would you like to talk to a member? Marc will help.
Marc van Bakel
Network coordinator EMEA
Tel +31 6 29 05 56 33