The best client a creative agency can have is a recurring one. But you know the drill: you put a lot of work into attracting and onboarding a new client, they love your work and then – what? At best case the account is on autopilot and at worst you don’t hear from the client again.
To keep a solid cash flow at your agency, you want to improve your client retention in order to make sure that they keep coming back for more. Below are our tips for ensuring your clients are satisfied and returning customers.
Establish solid communication
Before we can explore any of the other tips, the first factor you must have solidified with your clients is communication. None of the other tips will work unless your communication with your clients is effective and positive.
Communication isn’t just about project status updates or sending an invoice. It’s about building a relationship with your client. What’s going on with the business? What are their goals? What are their values? When your interactions with your clients go beyond brass tacks and get to a place of understanding each other, you’re truly communicating. Your clients will value that aspect of their relationship with you and your agency.
Make an effort to understand their goals
Now that you’re communicating well with your clients, you’re likely gaining more insight into their goals, both short- and long-term. Explain how what you’re doing will ultimately help them meet their goals, whether it be increased exposure or more sales. Illustrate how the service your agency provides is a tool in achieving those goals.
When talking to clients about goals, don’t discuss as though you were an outsider. Demonstrate that you’ve bought into the client’s company, and that the client’s goals are also yours. Even though you technically work for your agency, adopt a mindset that you are also part of the client’s team.
Be a friend to your client
You’ll spend quite a bit of time communicating with your client whether in person, on the phone or via email. While you should always be professional, conversations don’t need to be strictly business. Devote a few minutes to making friendly small talk. Ask about weekend plans or how their day has been. If the client seems receptive, continue building that bridge and find interesting hobbies or other topics you can ask the client about when you’re together. You don’t need to go so far as to track them down outside the office but making an effort to learn a little bit more about your client will make your interactions more friendly – and encourage your client to keep giving you their business.
Give them the opportunity to evaluate your work
Just as you have a regular performance review from your boss, you should also have a regular performance review from your clients. Instead of wondering whether your client is satisfied with your work, just ask! Perhaps she likes the creative product, but the check-in frequency isn’t enough. Maybe he thinks you just aren’t capturing the company’s voice. Asking your clients to evaluate your work demonstrates your commitment to meeting their needs. Even if all feedback isn’t positive, clients will appreciate the opportunity to bring up any issues and will appreciate your willingness to grow.
Want more advice on improving cash flow at your creative agency? Contract our team at Patin and Associates today.