As an agency, you may have incredible ideas about how to put a brand out in the most creative, headline-grabbing fashion to its customers. But, creativity needs to go hand-in-hand with business sense for your ideas to fructify. In other words, agencies are people and relationship-centric businesses. So, while ideas could put your agency on the map, the key to attracting the right prospects, staying relevant and keeping your customers engaged for the long haul depends on how you discover and manage your customer relationships.
A study by The Bedford Group reveals that compared to 1984 when the average client-agency relationship tenure was 7.2 years, today, the average stands at less than three years. While the reasons are aplenty, ranging from a high turnover at agencies to lose attention to budgets, the lack of adequate focus on ‘managing customer relationships’ also forms a root cause for this.
Take a look at the key challenges agencies face today when serving customers;
The good news is, a large portion of these challenges can be addressed with a CRM or customer relationship management software.
Today, agencies have to constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant. With increased competition, higher demand from customers and more focus of customers on ROI over creativity, it’s imperative for agencies to step up their game to become more customer-centric.
A specialized advertising and media agency CRM software helps you discover and manage your client relationships better by providing a simple, intuitive and seamless experience across the customer lifecycle. It helps you evaluate prospects with advanced lead scoring features, gives a 360 degree view of all customer activity in a single pane, automates a large portion of your daily tasks involved in servicing your customers, analyzes deals and generates reports on how your business is performing and gaps that need to be addressed, enables you to maintain long-lasting, quality relationship with your customers and more.
While a winning pitch could make or break a deal with your prospect, what’s also important is to understand their business, and gain insights into what exactly they are looking for from your agency. But, how do you gauge that? And, how do you determine whether the prospect came through a social media campaign you were running, through a referral or through your website?
An advertising and media agency CRM software can enable you to gather relevant insights about your prospects through multiple means. For one, if you’ve been running campaigns on social platforms, you can use relevant integrations in your CRM to track where the lead is coming from.
Secondly, if a customer has visited your website or app, you can understand their behavior and interests using event tracking, which tracks the pages your prospects visited and how they engaged with your site. Thirdly, you can also use web forms on your website to collect relevant data about your prospects or engage in live chat with them to understand their requirements better.
In fact, modern agency CRM software even auto-enrich lead data from their social profiles and any other publicly available information, giving you an edge in establishing relevant communication with them.
In response to the challenge agencies face in organizing all customer data in one place, an advertising and media agency CRM software provides a 360-degree view of all your engagements with each of your customers in a chronological timeline view. Every email or call log is stored in the customer’s activity timeline so that you don’t have to spend time in juggling through multiple apps to track where you left last. In fact, you can even add notes, tasks, and appointments and upload files relevant to each customer right within your agency CRM software.
Once you’ve determined whether the prospect is relevant for your business, you can move him/her to your deals pipeline, where you can track the progress made with each customer. Depending on the progress you make with them, you can move them across different deal stages such as interested to follow up or pitching to under review and more. A pipeline view also helps you determine revenue forecasts, gives insights into how each of your deals is performing, helps identify gaps in your business so you can come up with strategies to address them and more.
You can also generate daily, weekly or monthly sales reports to draw performance insights. You can get a sector-wise breakdown of customers you’re servicing to determine where you’re getting the most business from, create a report on customers by deal stages, assess revenues each of your sales/client servicing teams is bringing in and more.
One of the key challenges agencies face is, they often don’t have a separate sales or business development team and a customer servicing team. Often, the same team that services the customer has to manage sales as well. In such a scenario, amidst meeting client deadlines on projects, agencies are also tasked with performing mundane tasks like sending emails, setting reminders to share invoices, following up on payments and more.
An advertising and media agency CRM software can reduce the time you invest in such tasks with workflow automations. From welcome emails to internal reminders for your team members to complete tasks, to sending reminder emails to clients when their contract is up for renewal, a large portion of your tasks can be managed by the system while you focus on servicing your customers better.
You put your heart and soul into the first few months to win that customer and sign up the project. But once you are on good terms, you tend to take a back seat because it’s nearly impossible to keep that momentum going. While this may seem natural to you, from the customer’s perspective, the ‘relationship’ starts waning.
So, how do you engage with them from time to time to build trust and comfort? Like Aaron Levy, the Director of Paid Search at Elite SEM puts it, one of the key strategies to keeping clients engaged is to “be their best friends! Learn their birthdays, their kids' names and best of all, how to get their bonuses!”Of course, you can do this too in an agency CRM software with sales campaigns. Keep that communication channel always open with your customers by sending them wishes, sharing a newsletter on ideas that you worked on with other customers that became a hit and so on.
Use Freshsales CRM to create a winning combination of creativity and business growth. Qualify your leads, manage your deals, gain in-depth insights into how your business is growing, automate a large portion of your customer service tasks and access a host of other functionalities to help you stay ahead in the game.
Don’t let your laptop or desktop hold you back. Access all functionalities of an agency CRM from anywhere, any time with the Freshsales mobile app.
Choose from a host of apps like Zapier, MailChimp, Segment and Google Apps for work to integrate with your agency CRM software.
Rank your leads as hot, warm or cold and assign scores for each lead depending on how they engage with your business. Go after leads which are more relevant for your agency and are more likely to convert into a customer.