4 Questions Agencies Should Ask Clients

Think of your last nightmare client…

What went wrong?

And could it have been fixed during your pitch or at least the very first meeting if you had just known what questions to ask?

We aren’t saying your client is going to be honest with everything listed below but even noting who answers the questions and how they answer them could tell you a lot about what you are in for throughout the campaign you have agreed to work on together.

Brand success isn’t just about the numbers, especially if everyone ends up hating each other. Agencies need to understand the importance of customer experience and communication when it comes to client relationships. And you can set that tone for the very first interaction if the relationship is a priority for you. 

These four questions below could make or break a potential client relationship, and that’s why you want to ask them as soon as possible! This will help you understand what to expect and how you are expected to do it.

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1. What Keeps You Up At Night?

This might be a tough question to ask because no one like to reveal their flaws during the first meeting, but the truth is no one is perfect. As an agency, you are most likely being brought in to solve a problem that their internal team can’t do on their own. It probably pertains to one if not all of their businesses’ pain points and it’s important you find out as much as you can about it the first time you meet so you can start solving those problems. If a client says they have no pain points, try phrasing the question differently.

  • What metrics do you want to improve?
  • What is the one goal you are worried about not hitting?
  • What are complaints you receive from customers?

If you ask the right questions, you will figure out where they are struggling and how you can help. Remember, you can’t solve a problem unless you know there is one!

2. What Would Success Look Like To You?

This question is crucial because success looks different to everyone. I can almost guarantee even within the potential client’s organization a successful relationship with your agency will look different to the digital marketer, to the CMO and the CEO. It’s your job to figure out what they really want to achieve.

  • Is to increase visibility?
  • Increase sales?
  • Leads generated?
  • Tie efforts back to ROI?

No matter what their end goal is, we can assure you they are going to want to show something tangible for your work. This will help them easily explain why it was so important to hire an agency to handle their marketing needs.

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3. What Would You Like To See Your Agency Take More Responsibility Of?

This is basically a really nice way of asking what didn’t you like about the last agency.

You need to know this, so you don’t make the same mistakes! And maybe even more importantly you will get a better idea of what they expect from you.

  • Did the last agency have too many phone calls?
  • Not enough communication?
  • Where they bad at tying in ROI into marketing metrics?
  • Did their reporting stink?

What is that one thing they could have done better that would have changed the whole relationship? That would have kept them around for another campaign?

4.  How Do You Approach Complex Problems?

Whether it’s a lack of technology, an overwhelming amount of data, or planning execution what does your client do when they face a problem?

  • Do they panic?
  • Go into problem-solving mode?
  • Ignore?
  • Tackle it straight on?
  • Blame someone?

It’s important to ask this question, so you know what to expect just in case XYZ happens while they are your clients. Like we said above, no one is perfect including you. Odds are something might happen. Hopefully, not a big problem but something that wasn’t planned will happen, and you are going to have to work with your client to figure it out. Getting an idea of how they face challenges will help you approach them, solve them and know who to notify on the client side. You don’t want to wait till you are in the middle of something to wonder what your client might do. This will give you an idea of what you can expect and help you figure out how to communicate it and bring solutions to the table.

Wrap It Up

Just like you expect your potential client to ask you lots of questions you should also be asking them lots of questions. After all, you both are a part of this relationship and will need to figure each other out! And the sooner you know each other’s quirks and even better, learn to work through them the better the result will be.

What other questions should agencies be asking clients?

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What Does It Take To See What’s Coming Next?

How important is it for you as a PR pro and to your role at an agency to be able to spot up-and-coming trends?

If you are one of those people who have the magic touch, then it’s  a part of the client relationship you thrive on, and if not, you probably aren’t even sure that you want to learn how.

But in the age of social media it’s not enough to just keep up and be part of a conversation you need to be the one starting them! This is a skill you will see leading PR agencies and individuals owning because bing able to spot emerging trends and viral opportunities is needed in order to stay ahead of the game and differentiate yourself. Continue reading “What Does It Take To See What’s Coming Next?”

2 Simple Reasons You Need To Automate Client Reporting

Before we got into the client reporting space, I thought it was a pretty straightforward process. Log into your marketing dashboard, screenshot the needed data, copy it into a powerpoint and email it off to your client and then repeat that process x times till every client is served.

Nothing hard about that? 

But now I see it involves much more. Many agencies are using multiple tools, to pull all sorts of data and logging into each tool for each client isn’t all that simple.

For Example:

  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook
  • LeadPages
  • WordPress
  • MailChimp
  • CallRail

Once inside the tool, you probably have to look at several reports to figure out what data to pull from there. Then having to remember which clients use what platform, what type of data they need and how they like it formatted. And that’s if your client wants standard reporting. Some may also request high overview reports for their CMO or other Executives to take a look at and that is just the beginning of the inconsistencies and time-consuming process of client reporting. 

Most of the time finding a report within one tool for one client wouldn’t be that hard. But it’s when you add multiple tools, are left considering multiple reports from each tool and then having to repeat that for each client and their specific needs. 

Are you living with this pain every month?

Is reporting kicking your butt right now?

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way!

But before you say “Well yes, but that takes money…” Yes, it may involve a contract and monthly invoices but it also means you can gain insights, analyze, focus on creative, get your time back and maybe even some of your sanity.

Here are two simple but significant reasons why it’s time for you to start automating client reporting. 

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1. Bringing In More Business

Some agency account managers report spending up to two weeks into the NEXT month on monthly reporting responsibilities for clients. That is shocking! There is so much more you could be doing with your time than logging in and out of marketing channels, collecting data, and creating reports. And one of those things is tracking down and closing on new business.

Think about, if you are constantly behind because of the already unpredictable workload you have, on top of reporting, how are you supposed to be putting all your energy into current clients let alone adding more business?  If you are a part of the reporting nightmare, then the thought of new business sounds like bad news.

New clients + new reporting responsibilities = more workload

Recruiting new clients is pretty important and should make you excited about the work you are doing. Once you have an automated system in place that produces brandable, relatable, reports for clients you can start thinking about new business in a positive way and maybe even get excited!

And don’t forget how you can use these reports as a recruiting tool. Imagine meeting a potential client and being able to log into a single dashboard, that shows visualized data, in graphs and charts they can easily understand, all in one place! This will demonstrate how you don’t only create killer campaigns but have the advantage of monitoring and improving performance in real time. I know I would feel pretty confident about an agency who has created a process that is so detailed, streamlined and easy to understand.

2.  Keep Current Business

Creating the best campaign means nothing if you can’t communicate results to clients. If you are not able to connect the tasks you are performing, and the results you are achieving that is a huge problem. And for many agencies that is where and why reporting practices came into play.

These reports are supposed to offer an opportunity for you have regular communication with your clients. A chance to touch base, review results as well as go into detail about the work you are doing. But if it is currently taking you a long time to deliver regular reports, that are filled with old data and even worse if they are being delivered in an Excel format (if you hated copy and pasting all that data into those rows your clients are going to hate reading it there too) then you aren’t creating that type of relationship with your clients. 

When you have a single platform, that displays all your data visually and clearly showcases campaign results it invites clients into the process and holds your team accountable to those results. And this goes for poor performing campaigns too. As much as you want to show off the good things that are happening the not-so-great things need to be shared as well. Having a dashboard that displays the good and the bad makes those harder conversations easier to have. Clients can see exactly what you are doing to improve performance and won’t have to assume anything because it’s all right there for everyone to see. 

Reporting gets your clients involved. When you are proactive in showing your performance throughout the campaign’s life (through these reports), you won’t leave any surprises for your client, which can be a lot harder to rebound from. If they are a part of the process all the way through you can explain campaigns and results as they are happening. So if an area isn’t doing what you expect they will be part of that conversation from the beginning, which will help avoid those so why is this happening questions that always come later.

Your transparency is what’s most important to your client, and an automated reporting process helps you do that. A minor shortcoming in what is otherwise an impressive marketing strategy isn’t going to change your relationship with your client so don’t be afraid of sharing that when using an all-in-one platform. Fully disclosing their performance helps establish transparency and trust which is the foundation for any good relationship.

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Wrap It Up

Seemingly simple tasks can easily be made more complicated, and that is exactly what has happened to client reporting.

Client reporting doesn’t need to take all this time and effort, and you don’t need to be manually completing these tasks every month.

By automating the process and investing in one tool that does it all you will save time, create consistency in your reporting practices and impress your clients (and improve performance) by using a dashboard that integrates all your marketing channels. 

Are you looking for a tool like the one mentioned above? Check out our website here and see if Converge is the right fit for you and your team.

Converge connects to your client’s marketing tools, pulls those disparate data sources and automatically (and accurately) uploads them into one place. This allows agencies to stop gathering data and start generating insights. This allows you to access the data you need to communicate with your client faster, easier and in real time- letting you easily manage client reporting once more. 

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What Should You Ask Before Hiring An Agency?

What frustrated you the most about the last agency you worked with?

It was probably something they did or didn’t do, that you weren’t expecting. Something you wish you had known before agreeing to work together, and you won’t let it happen again. This next time around you will realize the importance of looking past the campaign pitch and digging into the parts of the agency that will impact your relationship with them the most.

So what type of questions will help you understand what kind of partner they are?

Below, we have a list of five must-ask questions for the next time you hire a PR agency. Continue reading “What Should You Ask Before Hiring An Agency?”

The Reality Of Sharing A Client: May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

In the spirit of specialized agencies comes the realization that your agency has to learn how to share. You have to learn how to work with other agencies.

I know shocking! But what if they steal my ideas…

If you are both working for the same team, the client, then the only person who gets something stolen from them when you don’t share is the client. And when the client doesn’t win that means you aren’t going to win either.

We are part of an era when smaller, specialized agencies exist. Clients don’t always believe that one agency can do it all. They opt to work with multiple agencies who master one or two things in the marketing and PR puzzle. Which means your client expects you to know how to work with other agencies and most importantly they expect all of you to work together. Continue reading “The Reality Of Sharing A Client: May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor”

How To Set Marketing Goals With New Clients

If you are on the agency side then you have had the opportunity to work with a whole bunch of different clients and with those different clients will come a variety of opinions when it comes to measurement.

So why does this happen? Because your clients are all in different parts of their marketing journey. While one might think they need revamp their social media content another could think they are doing perfectly fine for the same exact reason- how and what they measure.  Continue reading “How To Set Marketing Goals With New Clients”

Are Agency Reviews The New Norm?

It is not only the marketing world that continues to change but the consumer world is also rapidly evolving. So should it be surprising that agency reviews seem to be taking place more frequently?

In the past, we really only expected agency reviews in times when new leadership took over but as new platforms, more data and the way we connect with each other continues to change agencies have to be ready for them at any moment. Brands want to ensure they are reaching their customers, and reaching them in the most thoughtful, compelling and efficient way possible. The only way to know if that is happening is to review your work. Continue reading “Are Agency Reviews The New Norm?”

Should Your Client Take A Side?

As an agency you might have to deal with an unexpected controversial issue but what happens if a client comes to you and they want to take a side? Want to make a bold stance and not shy away from issues?

Would you know if there are any benefits? Do you know what damages could come? What would you be prepared for?

With the current political climate, more people are wanting to know where their favorite brands stand on important issues. And I am sure with the transition of the oval office happening any day now this will be a more common theme for the next four years (more than we have ever seen before). So are you ready to support your client’s efforts in taking on the important issues?

Here is how you can ensure that taking a stand builds loyalty and doesn’t crumble sales. Continue reading “Should Your Client Take A Side?”