A client asked me a very refreshing question recently: "How can we be a better client for you?" I had never been asked that before, but was happy to provide an answer. Don't get me wrong - we understand that we are in the service business, and making our clients happy is always our goal. We are always looking to improve our service. And there are tons of articles out there on this subject, including this excellent one from HighTail. But there's not much on what makes a good client. It's a relationship that must be built on respect and trust. I think the internet could stand a bit more advice on this vendor/client relationship, whether in the advertising realm or others. So here goes:
1. Be Open. The best client-agency relationships we have are those that understand it is a partnership. They are forthcoming with sales data, traffic reports, customer research - any and all information that can help us develop effective media plans that will achieve their goals. "Help us, help you" as the saying goes. We're on your side, and the more data you can share, the better.
We start every client relationship with a thorough discovery process where we play 20+ questions, get all advertising history, seasonality and any other pertinent info. Our best client relationships begin here with a comprehensive download; then armed with as much information as possible, we move forward to create a custom media strategy for them.
2. Be Responsive. You're busy - we get it. You have loads of meetings and are drowning in email. That's why you hired us, after all - to offload some of this work and provide some strategic perspective. But if we're asking for information or a decision, we need it to be able to move forward with your marketing strategy. Otherwise, we're stuck in a holding pattern and not executing your campaigns... and you could be missing out on sales.
3. Be Decisive. This goes hand-in-hand with the above, but you've done a thorough search and selected us as your agency because of our expertise. At McCulloch+Company, we pride ourselves in providing recommendations to our clients that are vetted, simple to understand and on strategy. We try to make it easy for you to make a quick decision, but are always available if further explanation is needed. And of course, we're open to adjusting our recommendations based on your feedback - no one knows your business as well as you do. Our best clients make quick decisions so we can execute their media strategy effectively.
4. Trust Us. We're working for you, negotiating on your behalf with media vendors to get the most value and make your advertising budget work harder. Your success is our success, so trust us when we provide feedback or have a different recommendation for your media campaign. Simply put, you are paying us to give you good media ideas and you can trust that we will do that.
That's enough for now, but you can read here some other tips on how to be a good client. I especially like the 5th point - one point of contact does make it easier for us to serve you. What other advice do you have on being a good client?
McCulloch+Company is an advertising media services company that integrates the innovation of digital media with the strengths of traditional paths. Founded in 1984 and located in historic Roswell, Georgia, McCulloch+Company is regarded as one of the Southeast's preeminent media agencies. The agency is skilled at managing B2B and B2C clients in a multitude of industry categories. Click here to contact us for a free media plan evaluation.