How To Be the Best Client Ever
One of our core values at Roger That is that we commit to shared success. That goes for not only our own team, but also our clients.
We want to deliver brands and marketing tools that will make our clients proud and help them grow. Our clients want to meet their growth goals and look great doing it. And of course, nobody wants to spend more time and effort than they have to. We truly are in this together!
That’s why, at the beginning of every project, we ask our clients to commit to a few things that are key to the process running smoothly and turning out the best possible results.
Want to be the best client ever? Here are a few ways you can do your part to make sure the project is a success for everyone involved. And by the way, these practices apply to working with any kind of partner – not just branding agencies like us.
Communicate your needs clearly and completely
Before you commit to working with a partner, they’ll usually start by outlining the scope of the project so they can provide you with an estimate of its cost. The more clear you are about your needs and expectations at this stage, the more accurate that estimate will be.
You don’t want to be caught off-guard by extra costs or delays down the road, and – trust us – your partner doesn’t want to be springing any surprises, either.
Don’t know exactly what you want? Since we work with intangible stuff like brands and websites, we see this a lot.
Our advice: be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish. A great partner knows what questions to ask so they can recommend a solution.
Let’s use something big and solid as an example. Imagine you’re hiring someone to build you a house. You’d want to partner with an architect first to figure out the size of the house you need, how you want it to look and the features that will make it uniquely yours.
All these factors are going to have major impacts on not only the cost and timeline of the project, but also how happy you are with the result.
Bottom line: Whether you’re building a house or a website, assume that nothing is obvious! The less you leave up to the builder’s interpretation, the less likely you’ll end up in a house with no windows.
Identify a single point of contact on each side
We find that projects run much more smoothly when there is a single point of contact on both the client side and the agency side. This removes any uncertainty about who is responsible for what, and who needs to respond to any given communication.
At Roger That, your single point of contact is almost always our project manager extraordinaire, Jessica Rupe. Jessica is a pro at keeping projects on track and on time through clear communication, prompt responses and savvy planning.
Who’s that person in your organization? They may not be a project manager by title, but they should be organized, a great communicator and well connected with the decision makers in your organization.
Provide the necessary access and information
At Roger That, we streamline the information-gathering process with an intake form that asks all the questions we need to get started. When clients answer those questions completely and thoughtfully, we’re able to do our best work – without constantly bugging them with follow-up questions.
The same goes for providing access to all the necessary people and systems. If we’re writing thought leadership content, for instance, we need access to subject matter experts who can share their knowledge. If we’re establishing baseline analytics or evaluating a website host, we need access to those systems or vendors.
Returning to the house analogy, this is like making sure there’s someone home to let the technician in to service your refrigerator, or giving a spare key to the pet sitter before heading out of town. They can’t do their jobs unless you give them the access they need – and neither can your agency partner.
Stick to the schedule
Nothing derails a project like missed deadlines….or worse, no deadlines at all!
One of the first deliverables Roger That clients receive from us is a detailed master schedule of the project from start to finish. When they approve the schedule, they commit to holding up their end of the project by meeting their deadlines. And we hold our clients as accountable to that commitment as we hold ourselves.
Of course, sh*t happens. Who among us has not missed a deadline at some point or another?
The solution, as always, is communication. As soon as something comes up that might keep you from meeting a deadline, give your partner a heads up so they can plan accordingly. It doesn’t help anyone to go silent and hope for the best.
The other thing to keep in mind is that your agency partner is likely juggling a lot of project schedules at once. (One of the reasons that project managers like Jessica are so vital!)
When one schedule gets thrown off by a day or two, other clients’ projects have to shift around to adjust. So, it’s not always a day-for-day tradeoff when you miss a deadline.
The best clients understand that, and trust their partners to get back on track as soon as they can.
Referrals are our love language
Of course, the very best way a client can show appreciation for a job well done is by telling other folks what a great experience they had. As a branding agency, we get most of our work through referrals from happy clients – yet another way that when our clients win, we win.
So, when you launch your brand or complete a project and you’re ready to share it with the world, remember to mention the partners who helped you make it happen.