Do You Need to Step Up Your Agency’s Account Management Game?
Wish your agency had better account management? Want to learn how to increase client satisfaction and so you can land and expand? It might be time to take an inward look at what you’re doing, so you can up your game and improve agency account management. When you and your team communicate more effectively with your clients, you will turn them into your biggest fans.
In today’s episode, we’ll cover:
- How to build a deeper relationship with your clients.
- The most effective way to communicate with clients.
- Top 3 account management tactics.
Today, I talked with Karen Hayward a Fractional CMO at Chief Outsiders — the largest fractional CMO firm in the US. Karen works with CEOs and helps brands build growth strategies. She’s an expert on account management, which is an area where we see a ton of growing agencies struggle. This episode contains crucial information that could be a real game-changer in your agency’s client relations and retention.
How to Build a Deeper Relationship with Your Clients
Meaningful client relationships are churn’s kryptonite. The faster (and better) you build a relationship with your clients, the less likely they are to jump-ship. After all, leaving a faceless brand is far easier than leaving an agency that you have nurtured a strong affiliation with. So, how do you build a deep-level relationship?
Karen says it’s all about aligning your values and your client’s values while leveraging your human assets. So, let the people in your agency get to know key members of your client’s team. If you have a relationship that exists on multiple channels, you will suffer less when you hit those road-bumps. Make sure your team and your client’s key employees (CEO, CFO, CMO, marketing director, etc.) build a relationship while agreeing on performance metrics.
We talked about relationships a ton when Joey Coleman, author of Never Lose a Client Again, was on the show. Bottom line, be certain you and your client have the same end-goal in mind as well as the same definition of success.
The Most Effective Way to Communicate With Clients
Figuring out how and when to communicate with clients is a huge headache for startup agencies (and lots of mature agencies as well). When are you bothering your clients? Some clients probably prefer not to communicate with you at all, right?
Karen suggests you communicate with your top clients quarterly. Even if everything is fine – and especially if everything is fine. Don’t make communication about sales. Ask them for feedback and learn what your clients really want by asking them. Hear them out, reassure them, and take action before there are issues.
A great way to get off to a good start is to send new clients Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys after the first 30 days! You can send them these surveys quarterly as well. You can take all of these Net Promoter Scores and see what kinds of trends your agency is having with your client. This gives you some great insight and also takes care of sheltered client concerns they may not be openly sharing with you.
Top 3 Account Management Tactics
Before she left, Karen left us with a few great tactics we can all try out.
- Start NPS immediately. Net Promoter Scores are amazing! They give you critical insight into your client-agency relationship status. Karen says you can get started right away with these if you take advantage of websites like Promoter.io and AskNicely, which both offer free NPSs in the U.S. with their free trials. Eat up the free trials and operationalize right away. If you aren’t finding any value, at least you didn’t spend anything!
- Make marketing pervasive in your agency. Karen suggests pushing marketing at every turn in your agency. Whether that’s attaching marketing supplements to email signatures or even small details like business card design, subtle marketing can add great immediate value to your business and keep your clients interested.
- Engage in meaningful dialogue. Karen suggested making sure your team has a story to tell. In other words, the account team needs to study-up on their clients so they can engage in meaningful conversations. Karen uses a system she calls S.T.A.R. (Situation, Task, Action, Result). The key is for everyone to be prepared to interact deeper than surface-level.
Cashflow or Bookkeeping Issues?
FreshBooks is the solution with their ridiculously easy-to-use cloud accounting software for agencies.
Freshbooks helps you work smarter and become more organized. Most importantly, it gets you paid quicker. Check out FreshBooks.com/SmartAgency and enter SMARTAGENCY in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section for a FREE 30-day, unrestricted trial.