7 Steps to Streamline Agency Fulfillment Processes
BY: MATT SHEALY ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 07, 2017
The core value of your business model hinges on the quality of the services you provide. Unfortunately, in their quest to deliver the highest level of service to their clients, many agencies overlook equally important facets of their service model. You need to offer fast, dependable service to your clients or risk losing them to less qualified competitors. Missing deadlines and failing to communicate expectations can destroy relationships quickly.
Here are some tips to streamline your fulfillment processes.
1. Be Realistic About Your Resource Limitations Before Taking on New Clients
No matter how efficiently you operate your agency, you can only accomplish so much with the resources available to you. Be mindful of these limits before taking on new clients. Otherwise, you risk losing their business by cutting corners or missing deadlines.
2. Get a Detailed Inventory of Customer Needs
Several companies I have worked with had negative experiences with other agencies. Their most common complaint was that the other agencies failed to understand their needs and made poor assumptions about them.
The best way to mitigate this is by interviewing your customers ahead of time to understand their needs.
3. Outline Internal Campaign Objectives
During the initial client interview, you will have outlined a number of campaign objectives. Many tasks that you need to complete are too detailed and technical to address during these meetings. Nevertheless, they are vital to the outcomes of your campaigns.
You need to create a clear list of objectives that your company will meet. Some of these tasks will be shared with the client, while others will be kept internally.
4. Create a Deliverables List with Applicable Deadlines
You should have a deliverables template in place for the work lifecycle of every client. This list serves several purposes:
·Keeping your staff on task
·Making sure product elements don’t fall through the cracks
·Clearly communicating expectations to your customers
Your deliverables list may be tweaked for each client, but you should have a fairly standard template to streamline service deliveries. There are many project management tools that you can keep your team on track.
5. Delegate Wisely
Delegating is one of the hardest tasks many agency operators face. They often want to micro-manage every project to have greater control over outcomes. The sentiment is understandable, but you don’t have the time and resources to assume responsibility of every task.
You must assign every task to the most capable members of your team. Monitor your team members carefully, so you can understand the qualifications of every employee.
6. Setup a Review and Approval Process
Conducting quality assurance is important at every stage of the production process. Some elements of your campaigns must be approved by the client or a project coordinator. In some instances, legal experts will need to offer their opinions.
The review and approval process will vary with every client. Some clients will want more oversight, especially if they have highly established brands or are in highly regulated industries. Coordinate with the client ahead of time to know when content should be shared with them.
7. Hold Regular Process Meetings with Clients and Team Members
Progress reports are essential for accountability. Try to hold internal progress meetings on a weekly basis, so you can identify backlogs and take the right steps to get back on track. Try to host separate meetings with clients as often as they are comfortable with, so they will feel comfortable with your progress.
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