How Relationships Drive Recurring Work

Digital Agencies and the Client-First Mindset: How Relationships Drive Recurring Work

27-Jan 2021

Clients are the heart of an agency. They're the sources of your revenue and the drivers of your reputation.

According to a report by Bain & Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can boost a business’s profitability by more than 25%. That makes recurring work much more valuable to your digital agency than one-off projects. So how do you manage your time and prioritize tasks related to those ongoing accounts, while also maintaining regular communication with your valuable clients?

Tip #1: Check In with Clients Often

The best way to nurture relationships is to add check-ins to your recurring task management workflow.

When you check in with clients as a matter of routine, you understand their needs better. They can tell you if what you're doing is in line with their vision, and you can make adjustments before problems occur. They know you care, and you know that both parties are on the same page.

Tip #2: Track Your Performance in Real-Time

How do you prioritize your work as an agency? Do you plan based on what happened the last time you worked on a similar project or served the same client, or do you look at where your resources are now?

If you’re working from prior data, it’s like you’re driving with only a rearview mirror. You don’t know how to prioritize tasks because you only know where you’ve been, not where you are or where you’re going.

To prioritize workload and meet deadlines reliably, you need to track performance as it happens. Move past your old manual systems and invest in a platform with dashboards that update you in real-time.

That way, you’ll know how things are progressing for each client and whether the work is staying on track. You’ll even get notified about potential delays and be able to re-allocate resources to keep things moving forward.

Tip #3: Conduct a Customer Lifetime Value Analysis

By now you know to put recurring work first, but how do you prioritize multiple deadlines when they relate to different long-term accounts? Your best tool here is customer lifetime value (CLV) analysis, which tells you how much revenue each client is likely to generate throughout the course of your relationship.

You can calculate CLV in three steps:

  1. Determine a client’s average purchase value
  2. Multiply it by the average purchase frequency per year
  3. Multiply that by likely customer lifespan in years

If a customer has you on a $2,000 monthly retainer, that’s $24,000 in total payments over the course of the year. If you can reasonably estimate the client will be with you for five years, that’s a CLV of $120,000.

Knowing the CLV of your regular clients can help you figure out how to prioritize work. If your $120,000 client wants a rush job, you can probably push that job ahead of a project for a $10,000 CLV client.

Tip #4: Pay Attention to the Details

Every client who gives you recurring work should get the VIP treatment. That means the whole team stays on top of that client’s business goals, challenges, and projects. Keep track of details like:

  • Is the current project running on time?
  • What pain point will that project solve?
  • What's the desired outcome?

The answers to these questions should be in easy reach of anyone who works with this client. The best way to do that is an integrated platform that makes it easy to access client data, including records of conversations and progress on current projects. That way, anyone who needs to can have a relevant and meaningful conversation with a client.

Tip #5: Adopt a Client Portal 

Transparency is imperative when it comes to creating and nurturing positive relationships with clients. Anyone who juggles multiple clients knows that it takes time to build trust - steps have to be taken to instill confidence in your agency's expertise.

Investing in a Client Portal is a great way to build that trust. By providing a single place for clients to track current projects and to monitor your team's progress, you are highlighting the agency's hard work and solidifying your reputation as a partner that can be trusted. Let them know you value their business.

There are internal benefits to a Client Portal as well, such as giving your team a single source of truth that houses all of the information they need to streamline the delivery of client work. By negating the extra time it takes to find client information, they get more of that time back to focus on providing quality service. 

The Takeaway

Recurring work is the key to a healthy and growing digital agency. To get that work, agencies need to make clients feel valued.

Accelo can help. Its integrated platform lets you manage client projects and communications, track recurring tasks, and analyze resource use all in one place. It ties together everything you do, so you can focus on clients.

Ready to get started? Sign up for a free trial today. You'll see how easy it is to provide the kind of service that makes clients truly loyal. You can also download our new eBook to learn what actionable steps leaders can take to improve productivity and efficiency. 

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