The key to agency success is ensuring client satisfaction is maximised.
While important, sometimes the focus on PR skills and journalist relations can mean that the client gets lost in the process. The clients are the reason we exist as a agency and it is critical that their needs are kept at the forefront of every activity.
Although I have been Head of Operations at Positive for nearly 10 years, I previously pursued a 20-year career in marketing and PR, both agency and client-side. Because of my experience, I am able to work with our PR and marketing teams to ensure that key skills in looking after clients are honed.
How does Positive do this?
Thinking like a client
Thinking like a client enables you to understand their key strategies and objectives and allows us to focus on delivering to achieve these.
The foundations of a good consultancy include communication, organisation, professionalism and attention to detail. These are the standard and if they are not achieved, success is elusive. There are additional features to Positive and the way we train our team that enable us to go above and beyond to ensure our client satisfaction is exceeded.
Using the principle of “What would we want to see if we were in our clients’ shoes?” as a benchmark to guide our relationships enables us to think from our clients’ perspective.
Understanding our clients’ business and their markets
To do this we start by taking the time to understand our clients’ internal structures and stakeholders including their internal challenges. This is often the most important first step, as it means that we can anticipate opportunities and potential blocks to getting ideas and results over the line.
B2B tech is not an easy sector to specialise in, and we pride ourselves on the efforts we make to understand our clients’ market, in a way that is visible and evident to our clients. As well as understanding our clients’ business, we understand the competitor landscape and areas of strength and weaknesses.
Listening to our clients – as much as what they don’t say as what they do – enables us to ensure that we are on target. And they listen to us – so we never talk about how busy we are on other clients’ work – we make every client feel like they are our only client. Emotional intelligence is critical in managing client relationships.
Bringing fresh ideas
Clients can struggle with a lack of idea generation and proactivity from their PR teams. We actively seek out opportunities to generate new ideas, working across client teams to ensure there is freshness and originality to what we are doing.
Knowing what a result looks like
Starting with our clients’ objectives – SOV, audience reach, sales leads, Tier 1 coverage – we continually assess what we do against targets. And if what we are doing is not working, we talk about it, internally and with our clients, and we fix it until it works.
Understanding the commercials
It is important that we demonstrate that our work has value. Do not underestimate the importance of our consultancy, and don’t be worried about talking about budget and how to value the work that we are doing – not just internally, but, when appropriate, with the client. Clients expect it and appreciate it.