The Anchor: 7 ways of building a successful agency-client relationship

24 Feb,2012

By Aniruddha Oka

 

#1 Like any business relationship, a successful agency-client relationship stands on the basic pillars of involvement, trust, mutual respect, empathy, freedom and space.

 

#2 Firstly, for a relationship to be successful it has to be a win-win situation in the long run. And it’s here that the empathy becomes an important factor where one needs to see from other’s window, of course without detriment to one self.

 

#3 A successful relationship can be built on trust, integrity and an egalitarian platform where both the parties respect and acknowledge the need for each other. This is built only over time, and one needs to invest that.

 

#4 Getting to know the client’s brands/products/services as much as he/she does, if not better, is essential. Specifically so for industrial/techno products. Get to know their clients and customers, because a different perspective and POV is what clients seek and respect their agency for. And without a deep understanding of client’s customers, an agency cannot provide one. Similarly, getting to know the agency key people as ‘people’ is critical for understanding their unique strengths to harness.

 

#5 Respect each other’s capabilities and give freedom/space/time to do their best in what they are best at. Understand and appreciate that clients have their internal clients too, and so does the agency.

 

#6 Be truthful, honest and frank while giving advice, since it helps both, clients and agency, in the long run. I’d rather be remembered for a piece of advice that’s not liked, than one that was not right but just pleased someone.

 

#7 Meet off-line in a deliberate and planned way to give and take feedback. Encouragement works wonders and does not cost much, but surely goes far beyond.

 

Aniruddha Oka is Chief Operating Officer, Quadrant Communications.

 

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