Communication is key
In the world of branding and marketing, perhaps one of the biggest issues is communication. This is paramount, and if people get it wrong, whole projects can be derailed. There have been famous examples in the past of major companies wishing to conduct massive deals, and then finding that the people they want to work with cannot answer their phones in time. This makes a huge difference. And in the world of digital marketing it is even more pronounced. Often, problems and issues need dealing with in the same day, and if you are unable to talk to the people who are working on your account down at the agency, you are going to be facing serious problems.
Imagine how bad it can get. You have been working hard with a digital agency to ensure your latest branding campaign, whether it is on Twitter or through an email campaign, goes well. You suddenly realise that you have to add another layer to that campaign in order to capitalise on some industry news that is breaking. So you get on the phone and call your digital agency. They don’t pick up the phone. Hours pass, and then they eventually answer your call with a mild hint of annoyance.
Meanwhile, the news event you wanted to capitalise on has disappeared into the distance. You can no longer jump on the back of it, and can no longer use it to help brand your organisation. You have lost an opportunity and all because the agency that is meant to be helping you could not deliver the response time you required. This is a sorry state of affairs but it obviously happens in some parts of the industry. It can honestly mean the difference between having a successful campaign and having a campaign that falls flat very quickly.
So how do you deal with this? Well, you ask the digital agency outright. You talk to them about it. You have a right to, and this is something tat you should definitely o as you struggle to create a branding project. The best way to do this is to literally ask about response times. If so many high quality projects are measured on response times, isn’t it appropriate that you ask the agency for a sense of what the response times might be? You could even take it one step further and ask for a detailed rundown of the response times the agency delivers.
Or go and ask for a testimonial, this means asking the agency for a list of customers who are happy to offer a testimonial on the work that the agency does. They should have plenty of customers who are available to do this. If they do not, that’s just another reason to take them off the top of the shortlist. Having customers who are able to offer a concrete testimonial is now bread and butter stuff, and something you should expect.
Once you are in touch with these customers, ask them about response times. Did it take five rings to get through one day? How often do you feel they are responding to you via the emails you sent? Do you think that you are being looked after by the agency, or is it more the case that they have taken your money and tat’s it? These questions are important, and should be asked by you if you are going to get a real sense of how effective the agency is when it comes to response to customers and their needs.
You could always test it too. Take the time to make a phone call to the agency after a couple of days after meeting them for the first time. See how long it takes them to pick up the phone and answer it. It should be within three rings. It’s as simple as that really. If they take longer to answer the phone then customer care obviously isn’t the number one thing on their list. Bear this in mind because this is one do the easiest ways to check the strength of communications between the agency and any of its clients.
This is serious stuff. If the agency does not answer the calls it receives, or if it generally doesn’t take the needs of the client seriously as regards communication, then there is every chance they will treat you the same way, and that is something you most definitely don’t want to experience. Poor communication can only ever mean that the agency will not be treating you as well as it could, and that will lead to project failure, pure and simple.