Do you know the value you bring to your clients? Better yet, do they know?
I find a lot of times when clients leave good agencies, it’s not because they’re unhappy but rather because they don’t fully understand the value the agency brings.
I know it happened to my agency in the past, and I’m sure it’s happened to you too.
You *think* you're doing an amazing job for a client. You’re nailing the strategy session, you’re driving traffic to their site, everything is optimized and social is on point!
You’re sharing these metrics with them and they seem to totally get it, but then, out of the clear blue, they terminate the relationship.
You’re understandably puzzled…
Then, when you ask why they’re leaving, they don’t really have (what you deem to be) valid reasons. But what can you do?
Well, you can’t change the past, but moving forward, there is something you can do to prevent this from happening ever again.
In our recent survey, over 63% of agency owners were unsure whether their clients understood the value they’re delivering and another 7% said their clients did NOT know their agency's value.
That means more than 70% of agencies are not effectively communicating value to their clients.
In order to retain more clients, this needs to be fixed. Stat.
See, I believe it’s human nature to forget where we were and how far we’ve come - whether in our personal lives or in business.
The client-agency dynamic is no different.
The client chooses to work with an agency in order to solve a problem or challenge. Once there’s a resolution and the agency is maintaining expectations, the client forgets how far they’ve come since the beginning.
“What have you done for me lately?”
That’s what your client is asking themselves on a regular basis.
The best way to retain your clients is to make sure they already know the answer to that question.
The key is to circumvent this by benchmarking in every conversation. To do that, train your account team to include benchmarking language with every client interaction.
4 Musts for Benchmarking with Clients
1. Where were they before? Remind the client where they were before they started working with you. Re-state the struggle, challenge, or issue they needed to be resolved prior to the relationship with your agency. This is important to establish at the beginning and then occasionally revisit. Use their language and terms.
2. Where are they now? Using their own metrics, have the client tell you where they are now that you're working together. When they share their metrics, ask them what future success looks like in their mind. Has that initial struggle, challenge, or issue been resolved adequately? Are they in a better place since working with you?
3. Where are they headed? Communicate the plan moving forward and let the client know the direction they’re headed. Remember, marketing is likely foreign to them and you need to constantly explain the progress. Don’t rely on industry or techy language. Make sure they understand and have confidence in the plan. Eliminate uncertainty or trust issues by breaking down the next steps and expected results.
4. Is this relationship paying off? Allow the client to determine their ROI by telling you what a lead or sale is worth to them. Do this early, starting in the proposal stage. Then review the numbers with them every time you meet. If there's a dip in metrics, explain how you'll adjust things to correct it. Speaking of metrics, don’t just report them but instead really monitor and analyze them. Dumping analytics on a client every month isn’t valuable, but sharing metrics and how they relate to their investment is priceless.
So, if you want to keep more of your clients, make sure you and/or your team incorporates these 4 benchmarking pieces into every conversation. You’ll enjoy longer client relationships and save yourself time, energy, and resources trying to understand a lost client.