Client-Agency Relationship Management

The relationships between marketing agencies and their client’s are in trouble under the constant cost cutting pressure over the last years and only producing average outputs and results. No wonder that the industry average for the length of a client-agency relationship is only 3,2 years. According to a study by Ascend2, investigating those relationship in detail, the main reasons for their failure are lack of bringing innovative solutions to the table, not able to deliver given metrics and proving the value of the own work and also in-efficiency in the day 2 day collaboration. More shocking than this results is the point when most agencies find out about the threats, which is at a late stage when the relationship is almost over and the client is about to end business.

A simple tool to evaluate the health of a client – service provider relationship is a set of recurring surveys. Surveys can give adequate insights but should not be overcomplicated and too long.  Furthermore a relationship is a 2-wayed transaction and therefore has to be investigated from both sides at least. Another yet simple method is the net promoter score. It is is a well established tool to measure client satisfaction. But: It is only one sided and gives no insights on the relationship itself.

Our better solution:
a 360° view on the topic

We also utilize a questionnaire for our solution but like other solutions made it simple and with feedback in both ways plus an extra self reflection part, where each of the 2 involved parties can check their own perception against the given evaluation.

The questionnaire we developed is easy to fill and consists of 2x ratings scale 1-10 and a textfield for written feedback. Other than in other solutions the data will collected at both parties of the relationship, meaning from the client and the agency. Only with this 2 perspectives we get enough data points to asses the quality of the relationship in more detail.

Actionable data:
2 perspectives – 4 data points – 3 deltas
1 relationship

With our data we can compare the satisfaction of both parties with the relationship and can also assess the gap between those two perspectives.

Under normal circumstances the agency and client satisfaction should be more or less close together. If the gap is larger than 3, it is a clear indicator that there is a one sided dissatisfaction in place. The other metrics based on the self reflection will allow each party to analyze their own point of view compared to the assign rating from the relationship counterpart.

We acknowledge the sensitivity of this data and therefore make the reflection data only available to the party that has given the rating to themselves. It is a internal view tool to evaluate how self and external perception differ.

Of course the relationship should be monitored over time in a frequent way. We would recommend here a frequency of 4 send outs per year in order to keep a balance between saving resources and get timely result.

All data is being present in reports made available to client and agency in order to navigate their relationship. All data and insights are accessible via our web application for both parties at any time.

Advisory & additional Services

In addition to the providing the survey tool with the reports and access to the raw data, we also offer extra advisory on how to get the most out of the tool & data and also advisory on how to fix certain problems and topics raised by the counterpart in the surveys. Example cases or situations in which we can support you:

  • Workflow and tools
  • Project and process management
  • Creative and project briefing done right
  • Efficient feedback loop handling
  • Team setup and internal responsibilities
  • Establish „real“ client/product/solution centricity with organizational setup
  • SOW and service delivery definition
  • Cost efficiency and cost controlling
  • Fulfill clients expectation and performance metrics
  • Bring innovation into the day2day operations

Quality of the relationship generates additional value for both parties