Ahh, clients. Any freelancer or digital agency responsible for managing client projects can testify that dealing with clients is sometimes anything but easy. We are all humans, and we all look for our own best interest. And in business, interests often collide, even though both you and your clients are on the same side.
In this article, we will give you some tips how to improve and maintain a great client-agency relationship. After all, it is your job to nurture it, and failing to do so can only create issues, agitated clients and team members, and lost business opportunities.
Tip #1: Be Transparent, And Ask For Transparency
It is important to understand that a client-agency relationship is a regular human interaction. Yes, it is business, but you still need to communicate with each other. Nobody can read minds, and unless you actually say to your clients that something is wrong, or that you want something changed, you can’t expect them to do it on their own.
The same goes the other way around. Even though clients are usually more open as they are the one who order work, it is important to note them that you like the relationship transparent. It is much better for both sides if they say when something is wrong immediately, then to hold grudges, and let problems pile up, creating a major issue later. Even if a problem is so big that it breaks the whole deal down, it is much better to detect it early, than to waste the time of both parties for weeks and months.
Tip #2: Plan Everything In Advance
Before committing, you want to have every piece of information needed to deliver the final project that will satisfy the client needs. And you want to have this in writing.
Having clear client expectations written down (in a contract?) will prevent future issues. Most clients have good intentions and only want the project done, but they sometimes have unreasonable expectations, especially when it comes to revisions. They will ask for changes, but will often change their mind along the way, slowly drifting the whole project off-track.
But, if you put the initial requirements in front of them, you will be able to explain that their new requirements don’t benefit the project as a whole. You can also tell them that you are willing to make the changes, but not for free, as the initial contract only had # of revisions included.
Still, it is crucial to be fair — your initial negotiation and contract draft should include your obligations too, explained in detail. That way, a client will know exactly what your team is going to do to get the job done, and will be able to hold you accountable for that. Yes, it is not pleasant, but a client-agency relationship is a two-way street, and taking responsibility for your work is the foundation of that.
Nifty lets you share collaborative documents without leaving your project management app. That way, you will always have client expectations in front of you, helping you stay on course. You can also give access to the document to your clients, reminding them what was initially agreed, keeping both sides protected.
Tip #3: Ask For Feedback Along The Way
To make sure the project is on the right track, it is important to get client feedback along the way, and not only after finishing the project. That way, you will avoid wasting time and resources without knowing that you are not headed in the right direction.
Of course, if you have defined the project goals the right way you are not going to end up going the wrong way. Still, feedback will help you make slight tweaks and adjustments, which will keep clients happy and help the long term relationship.
If you have an advanced project management tool like Nifty, you will be able to give project access to clients. They will see exactly what’s done, and what you are working on right now, leaving feedback where necessary. That way, you will be able to respond to client inputs in real-time, shortening feedback cycles, and ensuring a successful on-time project delivery, every time.
Tip #4: Show Results
It’s imperative to give regular project reports to your clients that will show them what was done, but also what was the impact of the actions you took, and how those moved the project into the wanted direction. Reports will give clients peace of mind, as they will have the data that will show them you are actually doing work, and that the money they invested is not wasted away.
Nifty has excellent project reporting and overview features that will let both your project managers and your clients see in a glimpse where the project currently is, and what else is needed to complete it.
Using Nifty milestones, all completed tasks will automatically push the project progress towards completion, automating progress reporting for clients and the entire team in the Gantt charts visually. Your clients will love this feature too, as they won’t need to go through the complicated reports — one look at the chart will tell them everything they need to know about the progress of the project.
Simple things like communicating with clients transparently, setting clear goals upfront, while looking forward to feedback along the way, and sending regular progress reports will help you nurture a healthy client-agency relationship longterm and ensure no client is lost due to poor communication ever again.
The process becomes much easier when you have the right tool to manage the project, and Nifty allows you just that. You will keep the whole project in a single place, so no wasted time switching between several apps. Your clients will see how your team performs in real-time and will be more than satisfied, knowing exactly how your efforts are leading their project towards completion. Nifty will help you build and maintain a great client-agency relationship, resulting in more long-term satisfied clients, and a steady stream of income for your business.
Never lose a client due to poor communication again — get started with Nifty today! 🚀