Companies fire their ad agency all the time.
Sometimes they put the account into review and give the incumbent an opportunity to pitch the business. But let’s face it … that’s just a nice way to fire your agency.
Then there are the not-so-nice firings where the account is pulled and given to someone else.
What you don’t hear much about, is an ad agency firing the client.
But like any relationship, sometimes it’s just not a good fit and for the health and well being of the agency, the client’s got to go.
Here are 6 signs to look for that may indicate you’d be better off without that problem client.
1. Unreasonable Requests
Your client is constantly making unreasonable requests. It may be that every project is a red hot fire that needs to be done yesterday.
Or the budget is always next to nothing.
Or you just have to use this particular vendor, who’s really not that good.
Whatever it is, your client is always making requests that fall outside the norm … and putting a strain on the agency.
This leads to low morale and burnout.
But it also jeopardizes the other clients. Because the problem client’s work will inevitably delay other clients’ work. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, after all.
2. Bad or Incomplete Input
Your client never provides thorough input for projects or for changes.
She is vague, leaving you to interpret what is to be done.
Or maybe she is disorganized and only provides some of the input up front. Then when you show her the first round, she remembers that she forgot to tell you something.
This leads to cost overruns and time delays. And ultimately, the client will have a very bad reputation within the agency. No one will want to work on the account.
This never ends well.
3. Always Unhappy With the Work
Your client is never satisfied with the work.
She requests rounds and rounds of revisions. Even when you make the change that she specifically requested, she’s still not happy.
Again, this adds more time and more money to a job. Or people end up putting in overtime.
The quality of the work suffers and the client relationship starts to get cold.
4. Changes are Dictated
Rather than leveraging your team’s expertise, your client dictates specific changes to be made … always.
It doesn’t occur to her that a trained professional may have a better solution. One that will solve her issue and not degrade the effectiveness. So she jumps straight to the first solution that comes to her.
And she demands you make her change.
The quality of the work is jeopardized … not to mention its potential effectiveness.
5. Disrespectful Behavior
Your client repeatedly behaves in a disrespectful manner towards you and your team.
It may be through the language she uses when communicating with you.
Or through a lack of attention during meetings or calls.
She may have a total disregard for the deadlines you’ve set for her. At every turn your client is demonstrating that she has no respect for the agency.
She clearly does not understand that it takes a healthy relationship built on mutual respect to get the success that both she and the agency want.
6. Questions Costs
Whether it’s an estimate or an invoice … or both …. your client always questions the cost.
This is a sure sign that there is no trust established in the relationship. Your client suspects that the agency does not have her best interest at heart. That you’re trying to take advantage of her.
This type of a relationship never lasts very long.
Firing a Client is a Last Resort
Does any of this sound like your client? If you have a client who exhibits all … or even some … of these bad habits you’re faced with two options: train the client or fire the client.
It’s always ideal to work with the client to help her become a better client. AE Incubator provides a lot of tips to help with client training. This is a great first course of action.
By working on small adjustments in the way your client operates, over time the relationship may be salvaged.
But some clients are just untrainable. It seems no matter how hard you try, they just don’t ever change their approach.
And you’re left with the realization that for the benefit of the staff and your other clients, that client must be fired.
“Clients get the advertising they deserve.”
Don’t Miss a Thing
Sign up now to receive next week’s training article in your inbox.