Working with an agency, what can go wrong? – PART 2: Communication and ROI

This part is a key responsibility of both the consulting agency and the customer: it starts when the project begins, it continues and it does not end any time soon! What I have observed is that sometimes after the project is done, there is no communication and none of the two parts is acting like they had the need to. But this is so wrong, I’m going to tell you why!

Because without communication, for instance, after a project:

  • The agency doesn’t know if the process implementation is adopted in the company and used. Especially in big companies, new projects or processes have to be promoted and monitored; which is the customer task but the consultant assists and supports, influencing the new process adoption.
  • When the consultancy services are under-performing in the customer´s business and there is no communication about that, the agency is not able to quickly intervene.

Bad communication equals not referrals, no new projects, no more new contracts for the agency and no return of investment for the customer… that´s a disaster!

So here some thoughts I want to share with:

The consulting agency:

  • Give and ask feedback after each step of the project implementation
  • Establish an account management process that provides useful feedback and problem resolution on an on-going basis to ensure project success
  • Make sure all requirements and objectives are documented. Consultants who adopt proper documentation practices, will find information and be able to face future changes or new requests
  • Thanks to your experience you can forecast new requirements: inform your customer and add all details in the documentation before starting the project
  • Be a resource for technical information and general project assistance
  • If you are not sure about something: just investigate and then say YES or NO
  • Provide constructive approaches to minimize problems and resolve issues that do arise
  • Do not disappear after the project is done: there are many channels you can use to stay in touch with your customers, for example through social media, surveys and email campaigns. The return of the investment of your customer is your return of investment as well.

The customer:

  • Give and ask feedback after each step of the project implementation
  • Establish an account management process that provides useful feedback and problem resolution on an on-going basis to ensure project success. Change too often and you lose the race
  • Return of the investment: make sure the process is adopted in the company, and that it is working. Provide feedback to your agency to let them know how is going.

Someone once said “Good communication skills are the key to any success“.

 

Coming next: Working with an agency: what can go wrong? – Part 3: Transparency

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Francesca Turri

Francesca has more than 5 years experience in integrating CRM and Marketing Automation technologies into different organizations. She works strategically with customers, to understand their business objectives, determine the best approach for leveraging APTLY solutions, and provide recommendations on how to proceed.

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