Meeting With An Unhappy Client
Just recently a client requested a meeting with us because he wasn’t happy with the results of his Google AdWords. We’ve been managing his ads for a while and things have been going well, but during December of last year, everything took a nosedive.
It turned out to be a seasonal issue, and something we see often. But he didn’t know that, so he was worried. The good news is that we have a line of communication open with him, as we do with all our clients, and we’ve kept him apprised of his results all along. So instead of a difficult, confrontational meeting, we reviewed the December results, discussed the issue and made an action plan to go forward.
And everyone went home happy. The point of telling this story is that we received a question from a listener who is currently worried that she doesn’t know what she’s paying her marketing company to do.
And it got us thinking about how even though we go through difficult periods with our clients, even though not all of our efforts succeed, our clients are always in the loop and always know exactly what we’re doing on their behalf. And if you’ve hired a marketing company, then you should, too!
We once pitched a prospect who was working with another marketing company, paying $19.99 a month. For that price they got a Google analytics report sent to them each month.
That doesn’t do much for a person’s marketing but it was apparently enough for our prospect, who had no interest in paying our fees. In their case, they knew exactly what they were paying for, and thought it was fine.
But if you’re paying someone like us, who charges a minimum $1500 per month investment to act as your marketing department, then you sure as heck want to know what you’re getting – and you want to sure as heck know that it’s making you money.
Don’t be fooled by low monthly costs. Price is not always the best indicator of results. If you’re paying a lot for a little, it’s no better than paying a little for even less! Even if your budget only allows for a few basic services, know what those services are. Know what you can expect and know where your marketing dollars are going.
Where Is Your Money Going?
One of the things we know for certain is that our clients always know what they’re paying for. We send them monthly reports, not entirely different than the ones that the other company sent to our prospect for twenty bucks. But the report is not as important as the context.
We provide the context, which means we let our clients know what the reports mean, and why. We give them the good and the bad, and an action plan for going forward. Sometimes parsing through all of the data is challenging for our clients, so by giving them a summary report, we highlight the key points – and will get into as much depth as they want.
Beyond the monthly summaries, we also send our clients weekly updates. Those are 100% personalized, detailed emails that let our clients know what we worked on the prior week, what went well, what didn’t, and what’s coming next. Sometimes we ask for approvals. Sometimes we ask questions.
So our clients always know what we’re doing. Sometimes they don’t want to know! People who have been working with us long enough sometimes tell us to skip the reports because they probably won’t read them anyway. And our answer is always the same: never!
They can read our reports or not read them if they choose, but the reports are there. For good reason. We never want someone to feel that they aren’t in the loop.
In fact, we need them to be in the loop because we need their input. You can’t hire someone to market your company and then expect them to go away and do it. You’ve got the braintrust that your marketing agency needs. YOU know best about your business, about your clients, about your products and services. Marketing is a collaboration, and your involvement is essential.
If you’re not having regular meetings with your marketing company so you can tell them what you know, it’s time to start!
What If You DON’T Know What You’re Paying For?
If you either don’t know what someone is doing for your money, or if you sort of know but aren’t clear, then simply ask. Sit down and ask questions, as many as you want, as many times as you need.
A company that cares about your business and is truly working on your behalf will be willing to do that. If you do ask, and still don’t understand, then either something is amiss, or you’re just not clicking with that team and it may be time to find a new one.
Know The Players
Sometimes when you hire a company, you may actually be working with more than one company. That’s not unusual but it should be transparent.
For example, our company, Rahvalor Interactive, works with Asano Designs, our business partner’s design company. We handle content, and he handles branding, so we may work with the same client in two different capacities.
The important thing is that you understand that. You don’t want to be surprised one day to find out that you’re not really working with who you thought you were.
Depending on your preferences, you may want to work with one company as your main point of contact and have a second or third company working behind the scenes. That’s ok too, as long as you understand the people involved and their relationships to you.
Some clients want us to play point. That means we do the project management, we send the bills, we handle the communications, and other companies we may collaborate with, from design to IT to sales, all work under our umbrella.
Other clients prefer to work individually with each company.
Either way can work, but they key is first, know who is involved, and second, be sure they’re all collaborating to the benefit of your business.
Check Your Expenses
One of our clients got a renewal notice from his registrar for some other services, and asked us if he should keep them. There were about $1,000 of services that he was literally not using. Either they were services that we were providing so paying for them again was redundant, or they were things that he simply didn’t need.
Of course we told him not to renew, but not everyone bothers to ask. I’ve known plenty of people who have paid for multiple hosting accounts at the same time because they simply never thought to wonder if they needed those services.
Almost all registrars will try to upsell you on something, and sometimes those things seem so obviously necessary (even when they aren’t) that before you know it you’ve added lots of extra fees to your bill for things you didn’t need in the first place.
So before you pay another service fee, ask why. Ask what for. And make sure its doing something for your business!
If you’ve got questions about how we can help you with your marketing, or just want to share your thoughts and stories, get in touch and let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.
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