Brands hire agencies to do work for them, but something needs to be fixed when an agency constantly requires follow-up and hand-holding. Agencies should have the experience and the people to exceed your needs, but with agency personnel constantly changing, that can be a tough task. Here are some instances when you should fire your agency.
When an agency you hire requires a lot of follow up and hand holding, it can be a sign of a few things.
- The agency is inexperienced. If the agency is new to the industry or hasn’t worked with a client like you, they may need more guidance and support to get the job done right.
- The agency is disorganized. If the agency isn’t good at keeping track of deadlines, tasks, and communication, they’ll need you to be on top of them to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks.
- The agency doesn’t understand your needs. If the agency doesn’t understand your goals and expectations clearly, they’ll need you to be more hands-on to ensure they’re on the right track.
- The agency has high turnover or gives small raises forcing good employees to leave.
Of course, there are also times when a little follow-up and hand-holding is regular. If you’re working with a new agency or on a complex project, it’s natural to check in more often to ensure things are on track.
However, if you constantly have to chase the agency down or remind them of what needs to be done, it’s a sign of a problem. In these cases, you must talk with the agency about your concerns and see if they can make changes. If they’re unwilling to do that, you may need to find a different agency to meet your needs better.
Here are some tips for dealing with an agency that requires a lot of follow up and hand holding:
- Be clear about your expectations. When hiring the agency, ensure you’re clear about your goals, deadlines, and expectations. This will help them understand what you need and how they can best meet your needs.
- Set regular check-ins. Schedule regular check-ins with the agency to make sure they’re on track and to address any concerns you have. This will help you stay up-to-date on the project and ensure that things are progressing as planned.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait for the agency to come to you with updates. Be proactive and reach out to them regularly to check on the project status. This will help you stay in the loop and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
- Be patient. It takes time to build a good working relationship with an agency. If you’re not getting the desired results immediately, be patient and give them time to adjust. However, if you’re still unsatisfied after a reasonable amount of time, it may be time to find a different agency.
One of the most challenging situations is when an agency is forced on you because a senior executive at your company used to work with them or the agency goes out of their way to suck up to senior people.
Conversely, some clients can be challenging to work with. As a consultant, I’ve dealt with clients who make last-minute changes to work or had managers leave the company right in the middle of a project requiring me to bring the new team up to speed.
The best agencies are the ones that integrate seamlessly with your team and are always available. I use messaging a lot with clients instead of conference calls or email, and we both find it more productive.
ANY agency that pitches your business with a plan on what you should do is to be avoided at all costs. They need to learn your business or company culture.