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We are trying to become the “first choice” advisors to our clients

THE NAKED TRUTH BEHIND AGENCY - CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

stefan_kozak

Interview with Stefan Kozak, Managing Director at CREATIVE PRO group
Interview by: Gorazd Čad
Photo credit: Personal Archive

AGENCIES VS. CLIENTS
We are very curious about how the agencies and clients work together, what do they expect from each other, how do they view each other, and so on. For this reason, we contacted both, agencies and clients to get their invaluable insight on the matter.

In this issue, we are presenting answers from the agencies, while in the next issue we will present answers from the clients. Enjoy the reading and be surprised!

Q: In your opinion, what defines a good agency-client relationship?
From my point of view, there are four main pillars:

Co-understanding, co-proactivity and co-creation
Managing expectations, or the “three steps ahead” approach. In a great business relationship an agency is able to manage client expectations, meaning the agency is proactive and is able to understand, create, plan and propose solutions before being asked by client. This approach works both ways.

Trust
This means that the client cooperates and uses the agency as the first choice advisor when discussing, planning or executing any item within the business-related scope. The client can appreciate agency added value, such as premium client service, creativity, innovation, sustainable education, etc.


Q: What is the first sign of deeper problems in this relationship?
There are many signs, but let’s say the most crucial ones are the opposites of what was mentioned above – the client starts asking the partner agency for responses, developments, updates, which means the agency is losing the trust connection and the client expectations are not managed well.


Q: Share with us a typical case showing mistrust between an agency and the client.
It could be cancelling the cooperation. We try to avoid this by using the following well known strategy:
We can offer three types of service, but a client can always choose just two of them. This is: High Quality vs Fast service vs Lower budgets:

  • High quality with a lower budget won’t be fast.
  • Fast service with a lower budget won’t have the requested quality.
  • High quality with a fast service won’t be cheap/low budget.

Q: What do agencies want to say to their clients?
Of course we are trying to become the “first choice” advisors to our clients. We love our clients and we are willing to become their trusted, long-term partners. We are polite, proactive, pro-client oriented people with a focus on innovation and professionalism.
On the other hand, however, this also depends on the level of seniority on both sides (client and agency). It should be balanced, but it can sometimes happen that the main point of contact from the client side is really inexperienced (junior) in comparison to the dedicated agency team (senior account managers), which could lead to many misunderstandings, and slower/harder event execution and project flow. Again, this works both ways.

Q: Do you trust your client in a process of event creation and execution?
‘In clients we trust’. We exist and are able to create all kind of unique live experiences because of them. And, well, I am sure that instead of clients doing event creation or execution, it should be client–agency co-creation and co-execution.

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