At AHA, we feel fortunate that we get to work with our clients. We have great clients and many of the people that we work with have been with AHA for a long time. Several have changed organizations and brought AHA to work with them in their new role.
At AHA, we are consistently focused on finding the best ways to work with our clients. What makes a client stand out is that they focus on finding the best way to work with us. Working in partnership means that we build a mutually beneficial, respectful relationship. We have a commitment to client service and to delivering excellence and results for our clients. We also expect our clients to have a commitment to us as an agency as well.
Here are some points on how to get the best from your agency:
• Approach this relationship as a partnership. They don’t work for you; they work with you.
• Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure your agency is kept up-to-date, up-to-speed and understands what you expect. If you don’t have time for them, they can’t do their job to the best of their ability.
• Listen to their input. You hired them for their expertise and skill set. If you just want someone to take orders from you, you are wasting money paying agency fees. This doesn’t mean you will do everything they recommend, but take the time and make the effort to hear their ideas, thoughts and feedback. It is what you pay them for.
• Discussion and disagreement are positive activities, being disagreeable is not. If you are having a tough day and take it out on the people in your agency, they won’t be your agency for long.
• If you feel the agency has made a mistake or is off strategy, put it on the table in a respectful, professional manner and work towards a solution together.
• Make yourself available to provide information, input and feedback when they need you. They aren’t out to waste your time. If they request a meeting or need more information it is because they are focused on doing a good job and getting results.
• Respect the fact that you are not their only client. If something urgent comes up, a good agency will be there and will work late and work on weekends to get the job done. If you continue to give them last minute assignments on tight deadlines for no real reason, they will be looking for other clients.
• If you can’t meet a deadline on your side that impacts their work, let them know as soon as possible so they can adjust their workflow.
• Pay them on time.
• Tell them when they have done a good job. We know that working in communications can be a thankless job. Make sure you show your appreciation when appropriate. It goes a long, long way.