By Deniz Doganay
As the pandemic continues to make its presence felt across the globe, businesses all over the world are feeling the aftermath. No matter what industry you’re in, you’re likely experiencing the effects of a crashing market, changing tides or financial circumstances you’ve never met before. While all of this can be overwhelming and scary to consider, it’s important to remember we are all in the same boat, and you can find support.
If you’re operating a digital marketing agency and finding these times tough right now, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are some handy tips you can consider to help safeguard your operations, gain business back and resurface stronger than ever.
This article will show you how to:
• Help your clients so that they form a trusting relationship with you in a time of uncertainty;
• Improve your communications (a must);
• Support your staff while they work from home;
• Prioritize or shift your focus during this period.
It’s all about retention.
Part of the challenge of having clients during this pandemic is keeping them on board. Just like you and your business, they’re likely feeling the heat, too. So, I’ve found the best place to start is by leveraging strategic retention techniques. When businesses are going through a tough time, often the first place they look to make cuts is in their marketing spending (or they go the opposite and spend more).
To ensure you’re coming out on top, focus on challenges with a sense of optimism and creativity. There might be ways you can revamp your packages and services to provide valuable solutions for your clients that cater to this exact scenario. Show them how your services can provide much-needed resources during this time, instead of going silent and being the first on the chopping block when they cut spending.
The overall aim? Show them they cannot operate without you during these uncertain times. Be their confidant, their support system and the friend they need right now.
Communication is key.
Emotions are running high right now for all of us, and this is exactly why you’ll need to consider how you communicate with clients more carefully. While agencies are (most of the time) great at maintaining a friendly relationship with their customers, doing just that won’t be enough during this time. Instead, offer up more in the way of emotional support when you reach out to your existing clients and even new prospects.
For example, empathy and giving flexibility will get you far ahead while your competitors aren’t being so forgiving. Take the time to understand your clients’ situation right now and think creatively, like I said above, about how you can cater to that. Maybe you can offer a different payment schedule, a value-add they desperately need, or something to help them combat the negative effects they are also facing. Anything you can provide in the way of understanding will raise you well above those who haven’t reconsidered their communications.
Note: This is also the time to communicate any changes to your clients’ accounts. If their campaigns are seeing fluctuations or they need to amend something, make sure you communicate this openly and honestly. If your services are changing because of the current world situation, have a discussion with them. Don’t hide in the silence.
Delay any pricing increases.
It might be tempting to offer new services or increase pricing to reflect tougher times, but right now is not the time to initiate any of this. From now and for the next few months, money is a sensitive topic for absolutely everyone. Don’t put your agency on the line by asking for more money for a campaign or even slightly raising your packages or management fees to suit the circumstances you’re finding your business in.
If you had previously planned to roll out any increased pricing or add-ons before Covid-19 hit, delay them. Think strategically and smart.