Agency consistency = ‘the continuous high level of quality, creativity and service delivered by a creative agency‘
This week, Design Inc delivered new advertising artwork for a new client. It was our first job for Church House Westminster – a Grade II listed, multi-purpose event and conference venue in the heart of London. The company hosts almost 1000 unique functions a year and came to us for help in the creation of an advertisement that would promoting themselves as a sustainable venue for social and corporate events.
Of course, there is nothing special about us taking on a new client. Nor is there anything unique about us designing an advertisement for a client. But, what makes this project interesting is that their new Head of Marketing has used us before. Not just in one previous company but two!
This is the third different company they have worked, from which they have called upon Design Inc to support them with their print & digital marketing needs.
But, what’s even more interesting is that this is not even the first time it has happened. We are proud to have other contacts who have continued to rely on our support as they have moved from one company to another over the years.
Just as brand consistency is key to maintaining a strong brand, so too is agency consistency when it comes to building a positive reputation.
Having faith & trust in an agency comes from the client gaining a solid understanding & expectation of their abilities, costs and well as the service levels. It’s about understanding just how that agency approaches, designs & delivers a creative project. The more familiar one is with the agency’s processes & skillsets, the easier it will be to work with them on future projects.
The goal for all agencies is to build a strong & positive relationship with each client. And, for 25 years, the team at Design Inc has deliberately forged long-term relationships with ours. For us, it’s crucial to maintain a level of consistency in terms of quality, creativity, speed of response, approachability, etc. Our clients come to rely upon this and this familiarity pays dividends when that contact moves on to a new employer and needs to source an agency.
Agency consistency creates strong relationships and these are worth their weight in gold. For example, should a direct price comparison against a competitor put an agency at a disadvantage, a great relationship will surely swing things back into their favour. And moreover, if the client already knows your work, this has greater value to them.
From the agency side, if your client contact likes you, likes your work & your level of creativity and if you like them and understand their needs, there should be no reason why the relationship shouldn’t continue for years. And, for that contact to continue to pass creative projects your way, no matter which company they are working at.
So, how do you deliver consistency as a creative agency? How do you ensure that your customers are treated fairly and get the experience they want? How do you get your clients to keep coming back. Here are our top 6 tips:
1. Ensure all staff are aligned.
Whether or not you have a mission or vision statement, it is important that all staff are aligned in terms of image, service level, quality and goals.
Whether the client is dealing direct with the managing director, a designer or accounts person, staff should recognise they should be accountable for their actions and behaviour.
2. Keep your staff happy
Clients like familiarity. And, it goes without saying that, to ensure a true level of creative & service consistency, it helps to retain the staff. So, keep them happy and engaged.
Of course, different designers have different skillsets and each designer has their own creativity. So, where possible, if a particular designer (or team of designers) has previously worked on a client’s project, it may be useful to retain that designer (or team) for other similar projects requested by that client.
3. Keep your promises.
Ensure that you never make false promises. If you tell a client you will do something then ensure you do it. This created reliance and trust. And that helps establish your reputation to always be as good as your word.
4. Set expectations.
Inform your clients of what they should expect from your company. Whether that is response times, costs or general service levels, clear expectations will set the benchmark.
5. Rectify errors.
It’s rarely the error that infuriates clients but rather the response. Should an error ever occur, address the situation quickly and effectively. Keep your client informed about what has happened and what you are doing to rectify it. And when the solution will be provided. Communication is key and clients respect that.
6. Get to know your customers.
Your customers are not faceless corporates. They are humans and have a personality. So, get to know them, what makes them happy, what they need. This builds a strong & reliable relationship.
And, finally, going back to our new client, Church House Westminster, this is what their new Head of Marketing had to say:
“Design Inc is my go-to agency. Frank and the team have supported me in three different companies over the years. Not only do they always immediately understand my needs and deliver great work but they are also always a pleasure to work with. It is for these reasons I choose to come back time and time again.”
Cinzia Marshe, Head of Marketing
Church House Westminster