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Agency Life 101: Client Churn

June 03, 2020 in Projects 101

If you’re an agency professional, you might think of your work as the solving of specific problems for companies. You likely thrive in a fast-paced environment and you’re all about rolling out a project that works toward an end goal – ideally with staggeringly effective results. But what happens when that client’s problem is solved and they don’t need your services?

This is known as client churn, and it’s a big problem for agencies. In fact, AdWeek reports that small to medium-sized agencies can see more than 40 percent client turnover year over year. In a saturated market, clients have less motivation to renew their contracts. And if you think it’s just a matter of replacing a prior client with a new one, consider that it can cost up to 4 times as much to snag a new client for your agency that to retain an existing one.

With that in mind, here are some tools that can boost client satisfaction and decrease your agency’s client churn rate at the same time.

Think bigger

When you work in digital project management, it can be easy to get tunnel vision. You’re so focused on addressing a particular pain point that you forget that your project is only one piece of your client’s overarching strategy.

While the most crucial part of any project is delivering what you promised, that doesn’t mean you can’t use the process to identify other pain points your client might have.

For example, while doing keyword research for a web design project, you may discover that many users stumble upon your client’s website while searching for a mobile app to deliver the same services. Perhaps your client has considered working with an agency to build an app but wasn’t sure there was a market for it. With your newly-discovered data in hand, this could be all you need to spark a conversation about the next level of your client’s digital overhaul.

The takeaway: Showing interest in client’s wider strategic objectives can earn you repeat business

Show your value

If you want to demonstrate your value, make sure you follow the age-old rule: show, don’t tell. As you move through the digital project journey with your client, you’re not just solving a problem, you’re proving your value.

That’s why sending monthly or weekly reports to your client is one of the best ways to prove your work is sparking real results. Not only does it keep them in the loop, but it’s a tangible way of showing them the effectiveness of your work and why your agency is worth that monthly payment. The kind of updates you provide will vary depending on your industry, but in general, using infographics and data visualization will grab their attention. Your clients are likely busy people; you want your report to be valuable when read in-depth, but easy to understand if it’s just being skimmed on the fly.

Your reports should be sent on a regular basis without your client having to ask for them and they should be branded clearly, to ensure your agency information is top of their mind when they read the update.

The takeaway: Part of digital project management is regularly reporting back to your client, giving them tangible reasons why your agency is worth that monthly fee.

Keep in touch

No client wants to be left in the dust the moment their final cheque clears. If you want to retain clients, it’s crucial to keep the lines of communication open. Have a system where you regularly keep in touch with clients you’ve worked with before. A short but friendly message every quarter to touch base and see what new developments they have on the go can be a great way to stay in contact after you’ve wrapped up a contract.

Consider sending them an article you think they would find compelling (eg: an article about platform developments for a fledgling e-commerce client that might encourage them to ask you questions). If you’re actively working in digital project management and you’re about to wrap up a contract, consider checking in to see if there are any other concerns or ideas your client might have on their mind. This can be a great way to transition into a new project.

The takeaway: Don’t drop your client as soon as the contract has wrapped up.

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TaskBranch is a cloud-based project management suite that makes it easy for digital teams to manage multi-phase projects in one place.