The world is full of expectations; some bigger than others. Meeting those expectations is what separates the good from the average. No matter what industry your agency is embedded in, expectations from clients have been laid out on the table from day one, and it’s up to you HOW you can meet those expectations, and most importantly, WHY you meet those expectations. Why is it that you do what it is you do? To every client, your agency is just another agency, so it’s important to show them how you’re different by ensuring you meet client expectations, abundantly.
Steps to Meet Client Expectations
Step #1: Setting Clear Goals & Objectives
Client needs, expectations, goals, and objectives are precisely what needs to be mentioned in the first meeting. The first meeting is the most important. You need to make a strong first impression and you need to show that you know your 💩.
But let’s be clear, setting goals and expectations isn’t just on the client. It’s on you too. Let me explain.
You might run an SEO agency and you have a meeting with a potential client, and they say their goal is to rank #1 on Google for X, Y and Z. But you know that those keywords are extremely competitive. This is your moment to step up and be honest. Tell the potential client WHY it’s not achievable in the timeframe they have specified and make a compromise. You could suggest that your agency can help them get into the top 10, rather than making a promise that you know you can’t deliver, and this causes a spiral effect because you’ve spoken big about your agency, so the client’s expectations are extremely high and not necessarily achievable.
Be honest and open. It’ll help you in the long run.
Step #2: Communicate Regularly & Effectively
Communication is key in any relationship, whether that’s personal or business. Lack of communication can cause trust issues between your agency and the client which will just lead to client churn and eventually someone will get fired. Even a quick check-in message to a client to see how things are going on their end can make them feel valued. It’s also vitally important to communicate effectively. We have seen so often very poor communication between an agency and their clients. Poor communication is a dangerous game that is just waiting for a disaster to happen. Agency work involves lots of technical details that need to be communicated in a way that makes it clear as to what it is you’re doing for the client as well as helping them to understand the process and what difference it will make to the business.
Step #3: Understanding the Client’s Needs
Every client has needs, and it’s your job to meet them. So, it’s super important to understand their business, goals, and objectives. Furthermore, understand the client themselves and how they work. Are they a client that prefers to have a call rather than send an email? These kinds of things need to be ironed out in the first meeting. If the client does prefer having a call all the time, you can negotiate to have a weekly or monthly call with them rather than spontaneous calls.
Step #4: Be Proactive in Problem-Solving
You need to be showing the client that you’re smart and good at what you do. This is why you need to not only be able to solve problems but always be one step ahead of the game. What do I mean by this? Good agency people identify and fix problems; The best agency people see a problem before it’s even happened and solve it before it has even been considered a problem. This is what we like to call critical thinking, and I can’t stress how important it is to think critically, especially in a fast-paced working environment such as a digital agency.
Step #5: Understand the Client’s Perspective
Ever heard of the saying, Put yourself in the customer’s shoes? Well, the same philosophy applies here. Remember, you’re responsible for delivering a service and results that the client has outlined. In order to do this, it is essential to establish an open and transparent line of communication with the client. By taking the time to listen to their needs and concerns, you can develop a deeper understanding of their goals and expectations. This can involve conducting thorough research about their industry, competitors, and target audience, as well as asking targeted questions to gather more information. Additionally, staying in regular communication with the client can help you stay informed about their evolving needs and provide timely solutions. Once you have a clear understanding of the client’s perspective, you can work with them to meet their specific needs and provide added value.
Step #6: Be Adaptive to Changing Needs
The needs of clients can change quickly. Economical changes, outdated marketing tactics, and much more can impact a business’s goals, so it’s important that your agency is awake and ready. Agencies that can adapt and pivot to meet those needs are more likely to succeed. It’s important to stay in close communication with your clients and proactively identify any changes in their needs or expectations. This can involve asking targeted questions and soliciting feedback to better understand their evolving requirements. By being adaptive and flexible, you can quickly respond to changing client needs and provide customised solutions that meet or exceed their expectations. By making adaptability a core value, you can build a strong reputation and a good, solid relationship with the client.
Step #7: Be Reliable
It sounds like an obvious piece of advice, but you’d be surprised how many agencies fail to follow the basics and fundamentals of a strong agency-client relationship. We’re here to make sure you don’t fall into that trap! Clients want to know that they can count on you to deliver what you promise when you promise it. This means being consistent in your delivery of products or services and maintaining open and transparent communication throughout the process.
Furthermore, being responsive and available to your clients when they need you is key to building trust and establishing a strong relationship. By being reliable, you can demonstrate your commitment to providing high-quality services that meet or exceed your client’s expectations.
Step #8: Be Accountable & Take Ownership
This is a big one. If your digital agency doesn’t have any accountability or take ownership of anything, then you may as well be sailing the Titanic. A study was out by Harvard University, suggesting 1 in 2 managers fail at accountability. Accountability is a crucial aspect of any agency’s success or failure. This means that you need to accept responsibility for your actions and decisions, even when things don’t go as planned. Make sure to be transparent and honest with clients. Doing this will result in you proactively working with your client to find solutions and get things back on the right path.
In conclusion, meeting client expectations is crucial for building a successful digital agency and maintaining positive relationships with customers. Meeting client expectations is no walk in the park, but hopefully, these steps can help you navigate sailing the ship in the right direction of success, and ultimately, winning.