When trying to make their services indispensable to their customers, some agencies go about it the wrong way, and aim to make it as difficult as possible for their customers to stop paying for their services and transition to another service provider.
But rather than trying to lock-in your customers, you should aim to make your agency indispensable to your customers by delivering as much value as possible. Today I’m sharing 6 ways to make your customers love working with your agency, so your agency becomes indispensable – for all the right reasons.
1) Deliver Results
While this will hopefully be obvious, it’s impossible to overstate the importance your customers place on consistently good results. If you do what you say you’ll do, and deliver your projects on-time and on-budget, why would your customers want to change?
Working with a different agency will be a big risk: there’s no guarantee of the quality of their work or their performance. If you consistently deliver, your agency becomes the go-to option for important projects.
2) Be Great at What You Do
Specialising can become a key differentiator for your agency. For example, if your agency specialises in a particular programming language, you will become known as the best agency to work with for that type of project.
This will set your agency apart from other, generalist agencies, who won’t be able to offer the same quality of service and expertise as you. So while they may be able to offer their services at a reduced cost, your best-fit customers will value your expertise just as much as the work you do.
3) Create a Human Relationship
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking of your client relationships in terms of the project you’re working on, or the business you’re delivering it for. But really, you’re doing business with a person.
Building a personal connection with your client, where you keep in touch regularly and are easily available to discuss any concerns or problems with their project, will be of immense value to your customers. At the end of the day, it’s much harder to stop working with someone who is pleasant and easy to work with, than it is to stop working with someone who you don’t have that same connection with.
4) Build a Strategic Partnership
One of the best ways to become indispensable to your customers is to provide more services which are hard for other agencies to replicate.
If you’re offering execution services like web design or copywriting, it will be relatively easy for your customer to find lots of other agencies who offer similar services. However, if you combine your services with strategic insights, and position your relationship with your customer as more of a partnership, rather than a simple execution service, then your agency’s involvement becomes much more valuable to your clients.
5) Develop a Closer Working Relationship
The longer you work with your customers, the more indispensable your agency becomes. The historical knowledge and understanding you have for your customer’s business and priorities is extremely valuable.
If your customer were to start working with a different agency instead of you, they would lose that contextual understanding that you have developed over time. To bring a new agency up-to-speed will take a lot of time and effort, and will increase the cost of changing to a different service provider.
6) Be Transparent
Transparency will play a significant role in determining how easy your agency is to work with. It will mean your clients are less likely to challenge you on your pricing, project timeframes or results.
If you operate in a transparent and open way, it will help to build your client’s trust in your agency, and further position your agency as a dependable partner that delivers consistently high-quality results that your customer wants to keep working with, again and again.