Recently, an article about how to fire a client was published, which made us wonder if clients know what to expect from an agency…with that in mind, my colleagues and I brainstormed to come up with expectations for the best client-agency relationship:
- Expect that if you hire experts to treat them as such, everyone appreciates being respected for what they bring to the project or work table. Like you and your colleagues, true experts have long studied and have vast
experiences in their field – after all isn’t that why they were hired?
- Expect to participate in the process. The use of the preverbal crystal ball is vastly overrated. Take the time to develop that critical initial direction, accept that you will need to provide materials and insider knowledge and be available for questions if you want the project to reflect your organization’s need. Provide timely and adequate feedback. Statements like, fine, I guess, if you think it’s ok means “APPROVED” and can lead to costly mistakes. Feedback requires attention to detail, and provided in a timely manner often reduces costs in material and time.
- Expect to build a relationship or partnership with the agency, each will gain more satisfaction from the work effort provided. Most likely screaming, bulling or dangling a carrot of more work will result in a negative response. If there’s a concern, address it rather than not communicating which stops the project, and takes time to rebuild trust and get the project back on track, or worse spend money on a project that never gets completed.
- Expect to pay for the service and expertise which was contracted. If the service and end product was provided, don’t negotiate the price after the fact. Ask what you will receive up front and at what cost. However, asking what something means can help clarify what is being paid for and bring confidence that you are getting what you agreed to pay.
- Expect if the scope of the project changes, which often occurs, that you will pay for additional work. Saying ‘just do it’ and ‘I know it will cost more’, means the scope of the project changed and so will the cost.
- Expect us to understand – like you do – that time is money. Asking to be resent files, creating lists or proposals without awarding work, or do repeated follow ups on projects and payment equate to time, which means billable hours. If you don’t mind paying, we don’t mind doing the work.
- Bonus…EXPECT a great working relationship through open, honest communication. Every relationship takes effort, what you put into it, you’ll get back.