Five Best Practices to Improve the Value and Effectiveness of Agency and Client Relationships
The latest episode of Kantata’s Professional Services Pursuit Podcast, hosted by Brent Trimble, features author, speaker, entrepreneur, and high-tech business executive, Bruno Gralpois. Brent and Bruno discuss the evolution of his business, Agency Mania Solutions, and dive into some critical tactics agencies and clients can implement to enhance their relationships and deliver better services. Bruno reflects on his experience in the services and agency space and provides his expertise on how to improve client relationships.
This blog covers five of the basic best practices to overcome the major challenges standing in the way of valuable agency and client relationships. The podcast episode goes beyond just the five best practices mentioned below and focuses on how software can be used to apply such practices and drive valuable client relationships. To learn why technology, automation tools, and purpose-built software are required for success in agencies and services today, listen to the entire episode or read the transcript here.
The Five Best Practices
- Clearly define what a successful relationship looks like
According to Bruno, “Professional partnerships do require a certain level of structuring and rigor so that you can actually realize the most value from it. And one of them that I’m actually quite passionate about is the ease and clarity of goals and purpose.”
Successful organizations understand what a valuable and successful relationship looks like. They establish quantifiable goals that can be easily measured and worked towards in order to achieve such success. Bruno suggests asking the following questions: “What goals are we trying to accomplish in the organization? How are we going to measure our success? Do we have the right KPIs (key performance indicators) in place to measure and optimize the relationship?”
- Recognize that agency and client cultures often clash
Bruno recognizes one of the biggest challenges in the agency space is a “clash of cultures.” Delivering valuable services to another organization requires embracing their mission, their vision, and genuinely wanting to be a part of it.
Bruno explains one of the most empowering aspects of working in agencies is that, at its core, the main purpose of every agency is to “enable clients to be successful in the marketplace.” He recognizes that sometimes the agency and client cultures are not fully in sync. Bruno explains, “the partnership principles are really aimed at reducing that friction and making sure those cultures are compatible. This is achievable by establishing common, clear, and measurable goals despite any cultural differences.”
- Be willing to adapt to the client and their culture
According to Bruno, when it comes to building valuable relationships with clients: “You need to understand the drivers behind the business and that organization.” Bruno applies this best practice in his own business by prioritizing “rich interactions and discussions where we document the needs of every client…We adapt to our client’s business.” Bruno emphasizes the importance of putting the client first, and adapting your agency to their needs rather than the other way around.
- Simplify the complexities of working with another organization
Bruno reflects on his own experience dealing with very large, complex companies. “They’re multi-brand, they’re global companies. They merge, acquire other entities. It’s constant change, but complexity is just part of their company and key to their [company] fabric, right?”
Bruno recommends simplifying the innately complex nature of delivering services and software to enterprise, global businesses. According to Bruno, agencies must simplify “how the two organizations collaborate, how workflows happen…how the work ultimately flows through the organization and how things get done.” Simplifying how an agency works with another organization doesn’t just enhance the relationship, it actually reduces the cost of delivering services.
Bruno explains that simplification is mutually beneficial for both parties because clients “have a desire equally to look for ways to minimize waste.” The most effective relationships are built on delivering streamlined services at reduced costs with the minimal level of waste. Bruno explains that the key to reducing waste is via technology and automation to “remove a lot of the inherent inefficiencies that take place from manual processes.”
- Leverage data and actionable insights to make informed decisions
With his extensive experience in the agency space, Bruno recalls the inflection point when gaining insights from data evolved from a desirable business concept to an absolute requirement for success. Bruno says, “For years, people were talking about big data and then we realized nobody wants big data. We want smart data…It’s less about data actually. It’s about insight. Insight that is generally from data that allows you to make informed decisions in a timely manner and have sustainable impact.”
How Does Technology Enable Organizations to Apply the Best Practices Above?
The five best practices mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving relationships with clients. These practices apply to any organization delivering services, not just agencies. These are the best place to start when trying to improve client relationships and the value of your services. However, in today’s market, these practices cannot be applied without the support of technology. In the podcast, Bruno explains that businesses will not see results from these practices without the support of purpose-built software.
To go beyond these five practices and learn how purpose-built software is key to building valuable client relationships and services success, listen to the entire episode or read the transcript here. Subscribe to the The Professional Services Pursuit Podcast for expert advice, trends, and best practices surrounding professional services.