“Our agency just signed a client we’re really excited about. But secretly, we’re also really nervous about this one, so what can I need to do to keep them happy?”
In our first (and let’s face it, only) Dear Ameba column, we’re answering one of the most universal questions in marketing: how to keep the spark alive between you and your clients.
It’s an important question; in modern times, less and less agencies seem to care about long-term client retention.
But when clients accept your strategy proposal, you make a commitment, and you need to do more than just honor it. You need to be vigilant, present, and always grateful to keep your relationship solid. Thankfully, we’ve collected five surefire ways you can keep clients happy. Do them right, and your relationship with them will get stronger every year.
When deadlines are pressing and content is mounting, it can be hard to make time for anything else. But we believe direct facetime is invaluable—and it should be highly prioritized. Saying your clients are important is one thing, but investing time to listen to their thoughts, concerns, and ideas is how you show it. How else are you going to know how to make them happy?
And you know what they say: “happy client – happy life.”
Good communication is at the heart of client retention, and it all starts before the work does. Understand what’s important to them, why it’s important, what their goals are, and how to measure their success. Don’t just think about KPIs, come up with better ones.
It can be easy to assume we know the problem and jump right to solutions, but asking the right questions, and actually listening to them, is the key to their heart.
Lead times are always ideal, but not always realistic. When words like “ASAP”, “Urgent”, and “High Priority” fly in, an agency can hold their client to stringent lead times, or can say “YES!”. It’s little sacrifices like these that show you care about them more than yourself and are committed to their well-being.
Another very simple, yet very effective client retention strategy is gift giving. Everyone likes presents, and your clients are no different. A well-timed, thoughtful gift shows you’re thinking of them and value the relationship.
Last, but certainly not least, (actually possibly first), your agency has got to be dependable. It sounds simple, but making a commitment to get your deliverables in on time is an absolute must. With how busy we get and how many new factors enter into a project, it’s easy to slip up with your deadlines. And the more you miss or try to push a deadline, the worse you look.
Every one of these client retention strategies comes from one simple core philosophy: Deliver more than expected, every time. You need to be your clients’ rock, an endless source of trust and ceaseless energy. Be all of those things, and you can be sure that your agency-client relationship will stand the test of time.