Many business relationships start off on a positive footing but it can be easy to get off track if things don’t go as promised. Assuming that you have found a good white label provider the work should be performed to a quality standard and to agreed deadlines, so then, why might things go awry?
There can be many reasons, but the number one cause of breakdown between your marketing agency and your client is usually due to communication.
Poor communication or the lack of communication is often the underlying cause of the majority of business relationship breakdowns. As a marketing agency owner, you will need to be able to clearly and articulately get your message across to avoid problems and disappointment.
These tips will help you to keep the lines of communication open and retain more clients.
Openness and honestly
Maintaining a policy of openness and honesty goes a long way toward building positive relationships with your clients. Nobody wants to feel as though they have been lied to or fed untruth. Being completely honest and transparent will help you to build trust between your client and your marketing agency. Problems are likely to arise occasionally, don’t shy away or try to cover them up. Discuss them openly with your client and strive to work towards a mutual solution. Even if the problem is a tricky one, your client will appreciate your willingness to face it head-on and respect the fact that you were truthful about the issue.
Scope of work
Maintaining good relationships will be far easier if you have a clear understanding what your client wants from your white label service. Make sure that you build a clear picture of what is expected so that you can deliver work that meets client requirements. It can be helpful to use a Scope of Work document (SOW) to outline task, targets, and deadlines. Use a Scope of Work document to provide a written statement of projects, tasks, dates, duration, and any other relevant items. It can be used as a reference and a framework for your projects and prevents any disputes or misunderstandings.
It is important to understand what you can manage. If a project looks as though it may be beyond your capabilities or those of your white label provider it may be wise to pass. Unfortunately, this might mean that you lose a customer but it’s better than gaining an unhappy one. Not being able to deliver the work promised can be damaging to your reputation, so it is important to recognize that not all businesses will be suitable for the services you provide. If you or your white label team are not qualified to do the task it will be better to leave it alone and focus on gaining clients with more suitable projects.
Manage client expectations
As the owner of your marketing agency, no one knows more than you about your business. However, from time to time you may run across clients who have an unrealistic idea about your services. If you are new to selling white label services it can be easy to be pressured by a demanding client so be clear about your prices and delivery times to avoid problems later on. This may require explaining parts of the process to your client so that they understand the amount of work involved. Describe individual tasks and paint them a picture of how the work will be completed with a projected timeline. Manage your client’s expectations with a rational and realistic work structure that supports quality work.
Receiving work late is often cited as one of the biggest reasons for losing a client. Delays can cause all sorts of problems, not just for you, but for your clients too. Work that they have commissioned from your marketing agency may be part of a bigger project or be needed before the next steps can continue. Assess the work that is required and remember to allocate an appropriate amount of time for your white label service to complete it. A good best practice is to build in a bit of extra time on the front end as a buffer to allow for any issues or unforeseen problems which may cause delays.
If you are handling big projects it is advisable to break these into a series of smaller deliverables. As each task is completed it can be delivered in line with a pre-arranged schedule. Using smaller milestones can help you, your white label service, and your client to keep a closer track of the entire project and timelines. With a smaller, segmented approach, it also means that issues can be identified and corrected quickly before getting out of hand.
It is a great idea to check in with your client periodically to ask for their input and assess their satisfaction labels with things like progress and work quality. This can help to build a loyal, partnership-based relationship with your client, making them feel like they are in integral part of the process. Asking for their opinion or comments can provide valuable insights that can be used in the work or to improve the customer journey. It is a positive way to reinforce that you are there to make their life easier.
Be upfront about extra costs
There may be times when the unexpected happens and your project runs into something that incurs additional fees. As a marketing agency owner, you will have to decide whether to swallow the extra expense or pass it on to your client. If you have effectively outlined your fees and charges in a scope of work document, then you should have highlighted any fees needed for additonal time, or complexity of work. If you have built a good relationship with your client you should be able to refer to your document and clearly explain where those costs will occur. The key is having them documented upfront. Your client may not be thrilled, but they will understand that it is an eventuality that you were aware of and that could possibly arise.
Selling white label services and managing clients effectively comes down to setting expectations and documenting fees and work in the beginning, Honesty and integrity are essential as is setting clear objectives. Gaining your client’s involvement with an open dialogue and working toward a mutual goal can help you to demonstrate that you are invested in a positive outcome.