JetStyle: How to communicate with your agency more effectively?
"The client is always right" is a thesis capable of destroying any projects given out for a contract. Yes, of course, customers want to make sure that their money will be spent with profit for their business. But we shouldn't forget about such a thing as well-coordinated work of the team, which includes not only employees of the hired agency but also representatives of the client's company. Since both sides are interested in the successful launch of the project, but at the same time have different competencies, the contribution of each of them is extremely important.
We have already talked about the things that agencies should do to build strong and lasting relationships with their clients. Now it's time to look at the situation from another angle and put the question differently: What is required of the clients themselves? What could customers of digital agencies do in order to increase or, at least, not to reduce the quality of the final product?
Here is what Alexey Kulakov, CEO at JetStyle digital agency, says. Have a read!
“The relations with contractors are not too different from the relations with employees. There are two elementary skills: to issue an assignment and to delineate powers. This is an absolute must for any manager or client. It always seemed to me that this is clear enough, but in practice, these skills are very rare, so I'll explain it in more detail.
1. The skill of issuing an assignment
When you say what needs to be done, expand the context of the task. Tell the agency not only what needs to be done, but also why. Otherwise, when the contractor will face a problem that goes beyond the scope of the task, he or she will not know how to deal with it. Or they will interrupt you every time they have a question and will waste your management’s time (and the management’s time is the most expensive thing a business has). Or they will try to make assumptions. And most likely their assumptions will differ from your reality. The third thing to do when giving orders is to make sure that the order is understood the way you need it to.
Before starting work, make sure that the contractors understand:
• The context of the task,
• Why this is necessary,
• Boundaries of their authority.
2. The skill of delineation of powers
If you have given up the authority, do not get involved in the process, monitor by control points only. From now on, the contractor is responsible for the area that you outsourced. The violation of this principle is a guaranteed way to ruin the project and worsen the relationship with the agency. The more often you violate it, the less the contractor will want to work with you.
Instead of the conclusion
It is very important to build on a common goal. If the contractor and the client have a common goal, there will always be an easy way to negotiate. Even if one of them missed the deadline, did something wrong, found out that the benefits don’t work – it's all not lethal when there is a common goal. In that case, all participants will adjust to its achievements and will eventually learn to interact with each other effectively. And if there is no common goal, then everything will be the opposite – every little thing will be very painful”.