PHD at Squared 2012: Agencies and clients

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Clients and Marketplace: How do you prioritise clients’ needs and agencies’ needs?

Some take the viewpoint that it’s very simply about prioritising the client’s needs first. Anything that succeeds in solving their problems or needs will automatically take care of both client and agency needs, whether in terms of increasing sales as the product becomes more useful, or increasing brand awareness because people have had a good experience with the brand.

At the end of the day we are a service agency; we want to and need to be able to solve our client’s business problem. Our role is to advise and help them but we require revenue in exchange for offering these services using our resources. Agencies need to be able to recognise where they can help solve the business problem, and also where it is not within their remit and that the client may need to seek support from elsewhere.

On a day to day basis, agency teams need to take a step back when we receive requests from clients. Instead of jumping straight in, we should go back to the client and ask questions like ‘what do you need the information for?’ and ‘in what format do you need this information?’. By understanding this, we can make better use of our time and hopefully provide better quality work to our clients for the right purposes.

As agencies, we are responsible for asking the client for feedback on any competitive/standard report/work that we share with them. Not only does this show that we care about the quality and the usefulness of the work we send to our clients, but it also means that our time is spent in the most efficient way possible, to provide the best service to our clients. It’s about showing the client what’s possible and making suggestions about what we can provide them with that will add more value for them.

In the slightly longer term, agencies need to be asking our clients questions like ‘what do you need from us in the next 3 months which will help your business grow?’ Currently, there is not enough communication between client and agency; more should be done to develop this relationship, as this will eventually increase efficiency and quality of work.

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