5 Key Traits of an Exceptional Client
We believe that every company wants to be a great client, but sometimes an organization hasn’t worked on the agency side and may not be fully aware of how to get the most out of their partnerships. Recently a new business prospect asked us about our favorite client and what gave them that ranking. Inquiries like that are a great start! Plus, it got us thinking of other qualities that make an amazing client.
Over our many years in the advertising industry, these are a few of the characteristics and practices that we’ve found create efficient, powerful relationships:
You wouldn’t go to your doctor and only share half your symptoms and expect to get an accurate diagnosis. Give us the backstory and freely share information so you can treat us as a trusted advisor. Be honest and even divulge an “uncomfortable truth” like, “We know our product is better than the competitors, but we have to charge more — meaning customers see us as too expensive to try.” The more your agency knows about your situation and what you’re up against, the better they’re able to serve you.
2. Collaborative briefing
First and foremost, let’s be clear about the problem you’re trying to solve, then work closely to create a brief that lays the foundation for impactful work. Get all stakeholders to approve before work begins to avoid major pivots. We know not everyone can be involved during every stage, but gathering input and opinions beforehand can get things moving in the right direction more quickly. You certainly want to avoid “too many cooks in the kitchen,” but during the briefing stage, good ideas can spring from anywhere.
3. Budget clarity
Provide a realistic range for your agency to work within that also allows for some stretch ideas. Knowing the funds your agency has to work with is actually a liberating quality when it comes to brainstorming. When you ask a group of creatives for ideas, there will never be a lack of big thinking. Understanding limiting parameters will get you ideas you can truly implement as opposed to feeling like, “Well, that’s an outstanding idea, but there’s no way we’d ever get the budget for that.”
4. Timely and consolidated feedback
It’s rare that the work is ever perfect on the first round, so managing feedback is built into every project. If you can have one team member manage all internal feedback and provide to the agency in a consolidated format, things will go much more smoothly. This practice saves time and valuable budget dollars, plus it eliminates the agency determining whose feedback trumps others.
5. Regular reviews
Just like in any relationship, we want to know how we’re doing! Share your praise and constructive feedback on an ongoing basis. Especially during the initial stages of a new partnership, don’t be afraid to schedule regular check-ins to have open, frank discussions. More formal, annual reviews are expected, but monthly or quarterly meetings can be more efficient when the course needs to be corrected or something improved.
We’re always interested in creating new partnerships. Let us know if you’d like to talk through how we can put our experience to work for you to form the next great dynamic duo!