Client and agency relationships fail more often than they succeed, leaving both sides to wonder where it went wrong. Your first instinct might be to assume that the agency simply didn’t live up to expectations, but the root of a failed relationship is generally far more complicated.
As a full-service agency that has been in business for more than 20 years now, we know a thing or two about building client relationships. More importantly, our 96% client retention rate is proof positive we know how to build client relationships that last.
There is a not-so-secret formula for making these partnerships work, and it comes down to six essential elements that every client and agency relationship needs to survive.
So What’s the Formula for a Successful Client-Agency Partnership?
It’s simple, really: All relationships are built on a foundation of trust.
As a full-service digital agency partner, integrity is important to us and we strive to do what’s right by our clients — even when it’s hard. That’s what clients trust us to do. And by doing so, we trust that our clients will return the honesty and help build an even stronger relationship.
Once trust is established, we can build from there. Here are the key points we’ve found play an important role in a long-term client-agency relationship.
1. Mutual Respect
When you pick Spinutech for your full-service digital agency partnership, you’re choosing us over many other worthy agencies. We need to respect and appreciate that. It’s our responsibility to prove that the decision was a wise one, each and every day.
Likewise, you chose us over the others because you believe we offer something that other agencies — and your own business — do not. If you expect a return on investment, you must believe in what we do and allow us to provide the knowledge and ability you hired us for.
As much as it’s your responsibility to trust us to do what you’re unable to, it’s more important for us to listen. Always. No amount of data and research can match the unique insights you have of your company. We listen, understand your goals and needs, and provide input where it’s acceptable and appropriate.
3. Open Communication
Honest, open communication is essential. In any relationship — agency or otherwise — breakdowns can almost always be attributed to a lack of communication. Both parties need to be clear and concise with their needs and continually follow up throughout the process to ensure expectations are fully understood and being met.
4. A Point Person
All too often, when projects begin to unravel or become inefficient it's because there are too many cooks in the kitchen. You should expect to have one or two people you know you can count on. When there’s a question or concern, you know you can call that point person and address it.
It’s just as crucial on your end. There are a lot of stakeholders within your company, but running all project information to the key stakeholder leaves little chance of confusion and inefficiency.
Sometimes both the agency and the client have unrealistic expectations or unfair opinions of each other. But we're all human. There will be mistakes, challenges, frustrations, and changing direction along the way.
None of us are mind-readers or fortune-tellers. You don’t have all the answers for your company. And, even though we’re the experts, we don’t have all the answers either. But by approaching the partnership and every interaction with empathy, we can overcome any obstacle on the path to success.
6. A Sense of Humor
This is one of the most important characteristics of all! We like to have fun and make sure you enjoy working with us. Having a sense of humor in all situations will help us in good times and bad.
We’re working on complex web development and digital marketing solutions. That can be stressful. When you keep a positive attitude and a smile on your face, it leads to successful projects and stronger partnerships.
It’s a Recipe for Long-Term Happiness and Success
Now, this is by no means a full list — just some observations from 20 years of learning. We've worked with countless clients from a wide variety of industries in those two decades. As our company, web design, and digital marketing change, we continually refine what makes a good fit. We want to make sure every client partner is a fit for our culture and expertise and, equally important, that we're the right match for theirs.
It's not just about saying "yes" or "no" to work — which was really hard to do in our early years. It's about finding the right partner for the long haul. And it's worked out pretty well for us and our client partners. Some of our very first clients are still with us today.
It’s our goal to enjoy the work we do and who we work with. It’s probably yours too. Because when you find a partner that makes the work better and more enjoyable, it’s a recipe for long-term happiness and success.