Agencies: Are You Sure Your Clients Are Happy?

The goal of any agency should be to deliver work and results that make their clients happy (ideally, make them ecstatic). To gauge that happiness, we sometimes survey clients or simply ask. More often, we make assumptions based on the tone of our interactions with them. All of these measurements can inform of how satisfied our clients are with the work they’re getting. Knowing means we can adjust to make sure clients love the things we’re doing. Unfortunately for many, they don’t know until it’s too late.

You Don’t Know If You Don’t Ask

The biggest problem most agencies have is that they don’t ask. They never check with their client to make sure what they’re delivering is amazing, until it’s too late. If you’re waiting until it’s time to sign a new agreement to ask, it’s too late. You need to know regularly if you want any hope of correcting things and steering them in a different direction, should the client express less than total satisfaction.

While the inquiries don’t have to be constant (and shouldn’t be), they should be frequent. Finding out as soon as happiness is hindered can make it far easier to correct than after they’ve been down on you for a while and have written the relationship off. You’d be surprised at how quickly some will begin searching for an alternative agency (let’s be honest, they shouldn’t have to settle for less than the best and there are plenty of options out there willing to give it to them). Don’t give let them get to that point.

Finding Out Their Feelings

Finding out how clients are feeling can be a challenge. Each person you work with is likely to have a different personality and be willing to share their satisfaction in a different way. To find the right method of monitoring, you may have to try a couple different ways.

The first and most forward is to simply ask. Shoot the client an email and ask how they’re feeling about your work. Inquire to see if there are any areas they think you could do better. Suggest spots you believe have room for growth too. In addition to getting direct and honest feedback with this method, you may also get great material to use as customer testimonial (just make sure you get their permission to use their response as such).

Another method is to use surveys. Craft a number of questions that probe the areas that your client may feel you’re hitting and missing. Be sure to include opportunities for them to really tell you how they feel. The object isn’t to have them only be able to share the good but rather finding the areas you need to improve. Often this method of asking for client feedback can feel less blunt and allow them to give more honest feedback than the straight-forward ask. Some may be afraid to tell the truth straight to someone, while a survey feels more approachable.

The are many other methods of gathering client feedback that you can come up with. You could utilize the simple 3 faces like you see in the graphic above, as some do in the customer service emails they send. Maybe you want to ask the question at the end or start of each call. Some may choose to have a 3rd party ask for them in hopes of getting the most honest answer. Best creative, come up with fun ways to get the insight from your clients.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Without asking, you aren’t likely to know a client is unhappy until it’s too late and they’ve already decided to end your relationship or highly modify it. Those that take the time to consistently stay aware of how their clients are feeling can head off issues before they become big enough to hurt your client relationship.

Take the steps to stay up-to-date with your clients on how they feel about your work and you’ll be able to help maintain better relationships and contracts. Remember that it never hurts to ask them how they’re feeling.


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Originally published at benbrausen.com on September 21, 2015.

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