There’s lots of amusing content out there about “the nightmare client” bemoaning the ways clients make an agency’s life harder, and it’s true - there can be challenges, not only for the designers or developers, but for everyone involved. What's more, a lot of agencies aren't exactly relieving the situation.
Why does this happen though?
There are a few things a digital agency can do to avoid the constant chopping and changing of minds, but there is a wider principle that stretches across the account management remit that is completely key to the success of the relationship and any projects at hand. To me, this is making sure the relationship is a two-way street. The best relationships and thus the accounts which will grow and grow are where the account manager is helping the client achieve their goals, and the client really wants to (and does) love what the agency is doing.
I’ve worked with clients in the past that seemed to get a kick from almost trying to get the agency to mess up, with various tricks and underhand tactics. This lead to mistakes and a feeling of always being on the back foot. In turn, comes a chain reaction of not quite committing to the brief and essentially working under the assumption that what’s getting built is not going to be the finished article. The client sees this - and surprise surprise - proclaims it’s not the finished article. If this were always to be the way, no-one would ever be satisfied!
Let's work together!
What is important to us, is to make sure the client is happy with the agency as a whole and the way we work before we even show them a thing to do with the wider project. This is where our unique processes comes into play. We have defined steps that need to be executed properly for any project in order to guarantee the success of any work we do. This combined with our Agile approach shows the client that they can trust us to be doing the right work for them - not just something we think is “cool” or “beautiful”.
Working on projects in the Agile format means that we work closely with the client from day one, making sure everyone knows what stage the project is at, having regular feedback loops (rather than seeing a finished product at the end and it not quite hitting the mark). Clients can change things as the project moves along, but because everyone is informed from the beginning about the project plan of what the expected end result is, when changes become chargeable, there is 100% transparency as to why.
So maybe it’s not the client just being contrary, maybe they just don’t feel they can relinquish control and place their trust in the agency.
While efficiency, reliability, and an in-depth understanding of your client’s account are essential aspects of account management, if there’s no mutual respect and trust between the agency and client, the client might just keep changing their mind and making the project more difficult for all stakeholders involved (client included)!
That's where your account manager comes in. Let them be your confidant - go to them with your business challenges and let them help you to find potential solutions or help you develop ideas.
We want to have as many of these good relationships as possible, evidenced by our growing client services team at After Digital. So let’s build that trust - visit/call/email us to find out more about what we offer and how we can put your organisation’s goals first to create amazing websites, digital marketing campaigns and strategies which will provide you with real return on investment.