At Rock Candy Media, we’ve established a little niche for ourselves as the agency you go to because your last agency let you down. We’ve heard from so many clients that they left their old agencies, “Not because they’re bad, but it felt like they were taking us for granted since we’ve been with them for so long.”
The key to client retention is by paying attention to what prospects tell us in the initial meeting. That includes all the reasons they give for leaving their previous agency. Over and over again, I’ve heard clients say that their last agency got too comfortable, which immediately reminds me that we never want to take our longtime clients for granted.
The terrifying thing with longtime clients is that you start thinking you know what’s best for them. But that assumption is a dangerous one. To be successful, you have to be humble. For example we had a longtime client thinking about introducing a new piece of technology to his services. We love being on the cutting edge and immediately jumped in with both feet, pitching him a ton of new campaigns, site revisions, press, the works to promote this new investment. After a few weeks of pitching to only a lukewarm response, the client finally got back to us saying that the new tech was going to be more trouble than it’s worth and he was going to pull it.
Now, we never spend time on stuff without a client’s okay, but if we had let our excitement get the best of us, we could have ran up a serious bill without knowing if it was the best for the client. This situation was a nice reminder that just because we’re excited about something, that’s not always the best way to serve our clients.
The other side of this equation is when you challenge clients less. It’s natural to tone down the edginess when you’re shot down over and over again by clients who want to keep things plain, but that kind of thinking can turn into creative stagnation. We always want to make our clients uncomfortable, even though it’s easier to just give them what they want.
The only way to combat complacency is to cultivate a company culture that honors every client and the trust they place in you. At Rock Candy Media, we’ve got clients who have been with us for more than three years and we still treat them with the same attention they received when we first signed them.
Anyone who has the courage to take the risk of hiring an agency deserves the respect of always being treated like a top client and that’s what we try to do. Ready to work with an agency that challenges you? Request a positioning analysis and see if you’re a fit.