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Data Driven Agency Series Chapter 2: Using data to foster lasting customer relationships

Using Data to Foster Client Relationships

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Before we break down how to build better partnerships (that last!), we thought it would be fun to look at some insights on cultivating business relationships.

“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones." We’ll forget about whether John Lennon said those words or not, but there’s no doubt that you and your agency will get on better and build trust quicker, if you are open and honest with each other from the outset.”

- John Lennon, Oliver Lindberg (via Shopify)

“It's easy to talk about the weather; it's a bit harder to talk about yourself….Regardless of position in a company, we all have things that worry us or excite us. To really sustain a fulfilling relationship with a client, you must get to know them in order to discuss subjects beyond the chances of rain for the week.”

– Andrew Howlett, Rain (via forbes.com)

“Our ideal partner helps us do something different in the market. We want to work with partners with complementary specializations and shared values.”

- Mike Walls, National Manager of Portfolio & Professional Services at Revera (via Microsoft)

“Whether creating internal partnerships between colleagues or departments, to larger partnerships between businesses, harnessing the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of your ecosystem is one of the most strategic ways for businesses to scale their innovation and solve complex challenges.”

- President, PayPal Canada (via The Globe and Mail)

“Brand-agency relationships are no different than any other working relationship...The best personal advice is also the best pitch advice: be who you are. If you're both who you are and you find common ground, it's the start of a beautiful relationship.”

– Randy Hughes, Carmichael Lynch (via forbes.com)

5 Ways to Build Better Partnerships:

  1. Ensure you and your partner are on the same page
  2. Align your skill sets
  3. Open communication and mutual respect
  4. Consistent communication
  5. Define who does what ahead of time
5 ways to make partnerships last
  1. Ensure you and your partner are on the same page
  2. One of the main ways your partnership could fail is if you and your partner have different definitions of success and thus focus your efforts in different directions. By being up front with what success looks like, both of you will be working towards a common goal.

  3. Align your skill sets
  4. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your partners, you can give and take… meaning each of you can leverage your strengths and use your unique skill sets to complement one another.

  5. It’s not just business, but personal too
  6. Open communication and mutual respect are the bread and butter of any successful relationship. Never underestimate the power of a little TLC.

    Despite disagreements or variance in ideas between you and your partner, remaining respectful and open-minded throughout the process will allow your relationship with one another to be more fruitful and rewarding. Be kind to one another.

  7. Consistent communication is key
  8. Do this by grabbing a coffee or beer or Kombucha (if you are into that) every few weeks with your partner (and put it in your calendar as a recurring meeting so you don’t forget!). This allows for open dialogue about anything. By being open and honest, when issues inevitably come up, big or small, you will be in the best possible position to work through them. Together.

  9. Define who does what...ahead of time
  10. By defining which partner does what, you avoid doubling down on efforts. No point in doing things twice. Although the roles may change over time, establishing them up front will avoid conflict and overlap, optimizing collaboration efforts. And, if you don’t like doing something, share it with your partner, maybe they love doing what you hate. This give and take is the beauty of business partnerships.

    Continue to Chapter 3: Leveraging the power of agency reporting
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Originally published October 15, 2018, updated Jun, 17 2019

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