Building and maintaining great client-agency relationships is the key to any agency’s success. Your goal should be to make your clients happy. If it isn’t, chances are you won’t keep them for long.

There are certain things agencies can do to hit a homerun with clients. And undeniably, there are things agencies do that drive their clients crazy. While it’s important to know what makes clients happy, it’s equally important to know what annoys them.

Here are three things agencies do that make clients extremely happy and three others that really annoy them. 

Three things that make clients happy

1. Consistently following through

When you say you will do something for a client, it’s crucial to follow through and keep your word. Being reliable builds trust with clients and gives them confidence that they can depend on you. 

All it takes is one time for something to fall through the cracks. A client may then view you as unreliable, creating a rift in the relationship. It can be difficult to regain a client’s trust after a slip-up.

Set reasonable expectations. If there is any doubt as to whether or not you can deliver on something, it’s best not to make the promise at all.

2. Asking for feedback

Clients will often stop working with an agency before vocalizing any concerns or complaints. While losing them may seem sudden to you, they’ve likely let their frustrations build up over time before deciding to call it quits.

Not only do you end up losing a client, but you have no way of knowing what led them to leave. There’s also a good chance they’ll share their disappointment with others, which can harm your reputation.

The good news is that you can avoid a situation like this by being proactive. Before any issues come up, you should take the time to check in with clients regularly. Ask them how you’re doing and if there is anything you can do to improve. 

Asking for feedback is valuable as it allows you to make changes before things go downhill. It also shows clients that you care.

3. Taking the lead

Clients hire you because they need help and want you to guide them. They don’t want you to follow their orders. Instead, clients want you to take control and reassure them that they are in good hands. 

The key to taking charge is to ask clients the right questions to understand their needs and determine the best solution for them. Provide them with a sense of security.

Clients love when you take the initiative in guiding them on what they should be doing instead of waiting for them to ask for direction.

Three things that annoy clients

1. Surprising them

When it comes time to deliver work, there shouldn’t be any surprises for the client. They should know what’s going on exactly and what to expect. 

Avoid negative surprises by staying focused on the project outline. Also, keep everyone in the loop by setting up a content approval process to track approvals and feedback. Having an approval process makes it easy to communicate any changes and opportunities with clients quickly.

Consistently meeting expectations strengthens your trust with clients and gives them peace of mind that projects are going according to plan.

2. Missing deadlines

Nothing erodes your client’s trust faster than missing a deadline. Some situations can make a missed deadline unavoidable, but if you set a reasonable timeline and consistently communicate throughout the project, then you shouldn’t miss a deadline.

If you know in advance that you won’t be able to deliver work on time, let the client know, explain why, and move the deadline accordingly. Doing so goes a long way in preventing missed deadlines and frustrated clients.

3. Not listening

Every client wants to feel heard and understood by their agency. Clients can get annoyed when they feel like you aren’t truly listening to them. And your agency may have a tough time meeting client expectations without the right information.

It’s important to ask questions and listen more than you talk. Show clients that you genuinely care about their challenges and successes, and don’t be quick to interject and offer your opinion or input.

By being a good listener, you’ll learn more about your clients and build a better relationship with them.

Do more of what makes clients happy

Build a solid partnership with your clients by making their happiness a priority. It’s helpful to know what makes them happy and be aware of the things that frustrate them. By focusing on what brings your clients joy, and avoiding what annoys them, you can build a successful client-agency relationship.