Building Solid Agency-Client Relationships

11.08.18 10:33 AM Comment(s) By Johnny


The customer is always right. That’s a statement that has been drilled into a lot of people from the time they started working, but if you’ve ever been in the customer service industry, you already know that sometimes this isn't true. While you might never point that out to your customer’s face, wouldn’t it be nice if they understood how their actions were affecting their results? 

When you hire an agency to manage your PPC campaigns, you’re the customer. You’re hiring them to do the specialized work for you, and their job is to help you succeed. You probably have very definite ideas about how that should happen, but they’re the experts. In fact, their expertise is the reason you hired them, right? It might be hard to turn over your pet project to anyone, but as their client, doing so can be one of the most important factors in your success. 

With the right approach, you can avoid common customer pitfalls and improve your relationship with your Amazon PPC marketing agency.

Here’s what you shouldn’t do if you want to keep your interactions with your agency helpful, positive and mutually beneficial. 


Getting Off on the Wrong Foot

Your client-agency relationship begins before you even hire someone. You need to research your options thoroughly to make sure the one you choose is the best fit for you. Take the time to sift through the available groups, and ask for referrals from peers. Once you’ve narrowed the options a bit, invite proposals and pitch meetings from those most closely aligned to your goals. Invite the team members who will be involved in the process, ask plenty of questions during the meeting, and get involved. 

Remember that when it comes to marketing agencies, you get the quality you pay for. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t hire the first agency you find after a quick Google search. Take the time to really do it right, and it will save you money and time in the long run. 



Failing to Connect

You’re no doubt busy with lots of responsibilities. Your marketing group understands this, but once you’ve connected with them, you need to stay connected. The agency might need your input on daily budgets, bid adjustments, or they might have feedback for you.


If they can’t track you down or you’re failing to return calls and emails promptly, then you’re going to find yourself facing unwanted delays and other complications. Instead, when they email or call you, do your best to respond as quickly as possible. Even if you don’t have the time to really look into something or respond in-depth, take a moment to send a note that gives them an idea of when you will have an open spot on your calendar to connect with them. 


Expecting Miracles

This is one of the biggest problems we face in the Amazon PPC industry, as the competition gets tougher. The CPC for many keywords have increased by 4x from just a year ago. Therefore, you can't expect to get on the first page by bidding $0.50 per click. If you want to be on the first page and stay competitive, you should expect a ACoS higher than breakeven in most scenarios.


You probably have very specific ideas about what you want and hope to achieve. That’s a good thing: You’ll be able to clearly express your goals, making it easier for your agency to fulfill them. The problem comes in when your expectations just aren’t realistic. There are many variables with Amazon PPC, and it may not be possible to achieve the results you are expecting.


Most agencies have numerous clients, and every one of them wants the same high-quality service that you do. They can’t drop everything to meet a single client’s over-the-top demands. 

Before you sign onto a new contract, ask the company about what you can expect regarding timelines and results. Keep in mind that good results can take time. You don’t want to rush the work, which can lead to careless mistakes and subpar results.

Even the best agencies aren’t mind-readers. Be super clear right from the start, be available and make sure you’re all on the same page. Not only do you need to share your ideas but also the results you expect to achieve. This will save you a lot of time and frustration and ensure you get the highest-quality work possible. You’ll get better results, and they’ll be a lot happier. 


Being realistic also means understanding that good marketing campaigns can take several months or even years to develop. Regardless of the agency you choose, it will take them at least a few months to develop high performing campaigns. It also means remembering that problems can happen, and your agency may have accidentally made a mistake. Your agency's job isn’t to make excuses but to get things fixed and corrected as soon as possible. Your job is to give them the space they need to make that happen.


Being the Self-Described Expert

Ideally, you chose a group that is highly experienced in Amazon PPC campaigns and internet marketing. They have the knowledge, resources and experience to help you reach your goals. Sure, you almost certainly have some great ideas about the direction your campaigns should go and some strong opinions on how things will be implemented. At the end of the day; however, your project managers are the ones who have what it takes to make your dreams happen. 

What this means is that their ideas might not look exactly like yours. That’s okay! Their job is to please you by bringing you successful marketing campaigns, and that begins long before your campaigns are ever created. They will work hard to bring you results that are exactly what you want even if you didn't know you wanted it. 

Get your money’s worth out of your partnership by sitting back and letting the agencies manage the PPC campaigns while you focus on improving your product pages, photos, and inventory. Bring them your problems, and let them find the best solutions for your situation.



Micro-Managing

When you choose someone to manage your PPC campaigns, you need to sit back and let them do their jobs. Your input is important, and they crave your feedback. However, micro-managing will never yield good results, as your agency needs room to work their magic.

After all, advertising is their forte. Your business is yours. As valued and appreciated as your ideas are, their job is to bring everything together to create high performing campaigns that will help you reach your goals. Give your agency the space they need to develop a concrete plan, and offer them feedback that can guide them without crowding them. Give them the space they need to bring you closer to your goals.


Failing to Distinguish Between Fact and Opinion

When it comes to Amazon PPC, strategies can be subjective. When you see your agency setting up campaigns, it might not be exactly what you expected. You might not like it. You might even think it’s terrible! 

Don’t worry; it’s not time to fire the agency or scrap the whole relationship. Their strategies might be different than yours, but those strategies could still be solid ones. Instead of raking the team over the coals, ask them why they made the choices they did. Listen to what they have to say, and ask yourself if their process is aligned with your stated goals. 

If the project really isn’t going to work for you, offer constructive criticism. Don’t just tell your agency that you hate it and it’s all wrong. Instead, give them feedback on what you dislike and how you think it could be made better. Be open to their responses and their ideas. Keeping the lines of communication open doesn’t just make these relationships stronger: It makes them more effective, too. 

It might be time to go back to the drawing board, but that’s a good thing. With your feedback and their experience, your campaigns will have everything they need to succeed. 


Holding Grudges

You’re naturally going to feel disappointed if you don’t get what you expected to get. After all, you’re paying for certain results, and you’re entitled to get your money’s worth. However, you need to remember that mistakes happen whether due to miscommunication or just plain human error. Open communication is the best way to deal with this situation. Talk to your agency, and work with them to find a solution. Treat them as valuable members of your team, and they’ll make every effort to come back stronger than ever. After all, your success is their success.



Treat Them Like Your Enemy


If you start to notice ACoS is increasing significantly or sales are falling off a cliff, don't panic and blame your agency. When you immediately jump to conclusions and blame your agency for the problems, they will feel like you are working against them, and not with them. In return, the agency will not feel as motivated to figure out exactly what is causing the problem.

Agencies are on your team, and if there is a problem they are likely stressing out as much as you are. You should approach your agency calmly and work together to figure out what is causing the sudden change in sales/ACoS, as it could be caused by many variables. Sometimes it can be as simple as your payment method has failed for the ads; therefore, it could be a simple problem that can be resolved quickly while maintaining a good relationship. Remember that the agency is on your team, and you are both working together to accomplish the desired goals.



Failing to Acknowledge Hard Work

We all enjoy compliments from time to time, especially when they’re well deserved. When your agency does a good job, recognize them with positive feedback. Praise them for their hard work. Go the extra mile, and refer your business associates to your marketing agency. They’ll appreciate the extra business and might just repay you with a few referrals of their own. 

Of course, the best way to recognize hard work is through remuneration. Pay your invoices promptly: Don’t make your agency send multiple invoices or call for their money. Their hard work deserves to be compensated properly and promptly. 


The Bottom Line

Overall when it comes to working with clients, there are some fantastic ones and there are some terrible ones. Most of them, though, fall somewhere in the middle. They want to be good customers, but they might have some detrimental habits. Knowing how you might be holding your own campaigns back or interfering with your agency’s work is the first step towards changing those habits. Just treat your agency as a valued team member, and you might just be surprised with how great your client-agency relationship can be.


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