The reality of owning a digital marketing agency in 2020 is that the industry is more competitive than ever before: more agencies are vying for customers who are savvier and expect better results than ever–and they know how to analyze data in order to hold you accountable. The growth of digital in everyday life means that there are more opportunities and needs for businesses to maintain a strong digital marketing presence, which also steps up the expectations for agencies to deliver the best performance possible across all channels as well as consistently over time.
In order for an agency to enjoy true long-term success and sustain their existence, they have to take steps not only to boost their marketing strengths, but also to communicate their performance in ways that will increase client retention. Nobody actually wants a revolving door of clients; client retention means long-term partnerships, which generate the level of mutual trust and sharpen real-time industry expertise so that both client and agency can march in lockstep.
The question of how to retain a client does not boil down to just one recipe or solution. However, we’ve assembled six proven client retention strategies that might help shed some light on the type of approach your digital marketing agency can use to increase client retention.
1. Learn everything you can about your clients.
You have a contract to satisfy with a client, but just meeting the terms outlined in the contract will likely not lead to the renewals necessary for long-term client retention. You need to go above and beyond for your clients, in the ways that will matter most to them. In order to understand and even possibly anticipate their needs, you have to ask them as much as you can about their business: history, preferences, goals, trends, upcoming releases, and anything else that comes to mind. The more in-sync you are with your clients’ business trajectories, the better you will be able to serve them where they are.
2. Take your clients’ needs personally.
Your client’s business might not be under your direct ownership, but you should treat it as though it is when it comes to defining objectives, mapping strategies, and executing the campaigns to get there. You should treat their resources like your own, and advice to optimize accordingly.
One helpful line of thinking when trying to build a client relationship takes into account your point of contact at your client’s business. If you want them to continue as your client in the long-term, you need them to be able to justify the costs of working with you. You need to make them “look good” for choosing to work with you. Be sensitive to discovering what your client needs to frame your working relationship as a success.
3. Implement regular reporting.
It is always surprising to discover how many digital marketing agencies don’t have a regular reporting schedule and format. Giving clients this format upfront, even as part of the sales process, helps set them at ease. It demonstrates that your agency holds itself accountable for making steady progress and achieving results, while also showing exactly how you will maintain transparency.
4. Be picky about your clients.
The allure of income is always tempting, but just because you can add a client to your repertoire doesn’t mean that you should.
Client retention requires that you are able to help your clients. Selecting clients that seem particularly difficult will not lend itself to a healthy working relationship; nor will acquiring clients with immutable, unrealistic expectations, or any business that you don’t actually believe you are positioned to really help. At best, these will likely turn into short engagements that are frustrating for both parties. Instead of choosing such clients, work with businesses whose values and overall approach line with yours.
5. Get strategic about overdelivering.
Walking the line between appropriately over-performing and foolishly over-delivering can get tricky. First of all, you want to make sure your agency is being appropriately compensated for the time it is spending on work; that said, you may run into situations where over-delivering to a client is a no-brainer for keeping them happy and building up to a renewal.
But you also want to make sure that the slippery slope of overdelivering on engagements does not lead you to overcommit your team’s resources. One of the worst things you can do is push yourself into a corner where you promised you would provide something but were not able to keep your word. Not only could this lead to losing the client, but it will also damage your industry reputation and reduce your chances for success.
6. Embrace a solution-focused mindset.
Any problems that you or your clients will face will rear their ugly heads in several ways; no business problem truly lives in a silo. The sooner you are able to identify core problems, the sooner there can be an effective solution put into place. Because your clients are looking for you to service their business, one of the best things you can do is be their go-to for solutions. This applies not only to when they come to you seeking assistance; this includes your keeping an eye on their performance as well as industry trends, and proactively reaching out with at least one solution in tow.
And if any of your campaigns or strategies hit any roadblocks, proactively communicating these issues while also being ready with solutions will paint you in the best possible light. Everyone knows that business is not always smooth sailing; what clients remember–and what makes them renew–is how effectively you were able to support them.
White label services like Agency Alliance can augment your performance and help you provide the results you need in order to maximize client retention. From local SEO through social media management, Agency Alliance has options so that you can offload tasks to a reliable team while you focus on the types of business problems that only your digital marketing agency can solve.