One of the toughest lessons to learn as an agency professional is setting appropriate expectations. This is especially true when working with a client on projects. We are an industry of terms and acronyms. We all like to use the same terms, but we don’t all mean the same thing. My vision of what an effective email marketing campaign is may be dramatically different when articulated by a design shop. This can lead to frustration, unexpected scope creep and a loss of revenue. In worst cases it can mean the loss of a client. Here are a few tips to help you set expectations with your clients.
This may sound obvious but you need to tell the client exactly what you mean by “Yes, we can handle your SEO”. Does that mean you will provide an assessment of their current website? Does your assessment include competitive statistics? Will you optimize their current content? Will you create new content? What metrics do you use to determine the appropriate keywords to optimize for?
Tell the truth regarding your organization’s capabilities. If you exaggerate your services and ultimately can’t deliver, your relationship and reputation will be damaged.
It is important to be very specific when articulating what they client should expect from you and the project. This includes things such as budget, timeline, client approval processes, change orders, etc. You all need to be on the same page before the project begins to ensure that everyone knows their distinct roles and how they need to deliver on their part of the project.
Sometimes you will work with a client on a project type they have never had experience with. Perhaps this is the first time they have ever attempted an online retargeting campaign. In order for them to really understand the process, metrics an ROI for this type of campaign you will most likely need to educate them. Talk to them about how the campaigns are run, and show them current industry metrics. This will help to ensure they don’t make unrealistic assumptions about the campaign’s results.
This is a huge topic and this single post barely scratches the surface. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.