When an agency over promises a prospect during the hunt and can’t deliver later, then expect client churn.
When an agency takes on a new client that it can’t create and sustain value for, then expect client churn.
When an agency takes on a new client ( aka a “dog” of a client) only because it needs revenue, then expect client churn.
When agency principals keep the client relationship at arm’s length, then expect client churn.
And when an agency doesn’t take the time to proactively manage and measure a client’s expectations, the relationship itself and the value that’s being delivered — guess what? Expect client churn.
So what’s your agency’s client retention methodology? If it has one, here are a few ideas that can give it a shot in the arm.
- Work with clients you can deliver immediate and ongoing value to. If you’re a tech B2B shop with expert, relevant experience in cloud computing, mobile and security, don’t think you can add immediate value to a healthcare IT company. Firms who have tried and failed to fake domain knowledge give the PR profession a bad name.
- Develop an expertise in your employees. Having more “experts” than generalists in-house means the agency will likely be more valuable to a client and will lead to greater client retention. An account supervisor who understands mobile computing ecosystems is much more valuable to an organization than someone who pinch hit on a couple of mobile-related accounts and who may have just a cursory knowledge of the market.
- Find a way for staffers to work more deeply on fewer accounts. At a previous agency I called this “fewer-deeper.” Clever, huh? Clients know when they do and when they do not have the attention of their account team. Expecting account executives to offer significant value on more than four (five tops) accounts is unreasonable and unfair to the employees and the clients. No one benefits from such a model.
- Work harder to retain employees. There’s a direct correlation between employee churn and client terminations. Losing the lead player on a key account will disrupt that account to no end. Bury an employee in too many accounts, dogs or not, and you could say sayonara to the employee and the business.
What am I missing?