- Jun 30, 2020
- John Ahya
Managing Client’s Expectations
The ability of a white label agency to provide excellent customer service depends on its ability to manage the expectations of clients. Advances in ICT have delivered information on companies’ service delivery directly into the hands of consumers through platforms such as Yelp. Currently, clients cannot settle for less because they have online channels to acquire the best. As a white label agency, the best way to manage expectations of your clients in long term partnership is to set the timeline for each milestone, define terms of the partnership, set the standard right from the start, and adopt flexible infrastructure and platforms.
Managing expectations leads to happy clients
Below is the Checklist that will Give you a list of Managing Client’s Expectations
- Set the Timeline for each Milestone
- Set the Standard Right from the Start
- Define Terms of Partnership
- Flexible infrastructure and platforms
- Transparency and honesty
- Manage Clients’ Expectations by Partnering with White Label Agency
Set the Timeline for each Milestone
In most cases, long-term white label partnerships include several tasks undertaken subsequently. Clients expect the outsourced agency to complete different milestones within a specific timeline, which can create conflict if the client’s expectations exceed your agency’s capacity. For example, a partnership requiring web design, development, implementation, and maintenance of the client’s website. For this project, you and the client have to agree on the timeline of each milestone to match capacity with expectations. Working without a timeline for each milestone can create a situation where the client expects to launch the website in two weeks, yet your agency cannot design the website in two weeks. Mismatched expectations and capacity create friction, which can be destructive if not addressed promptly, particularly in long-term partnerships.
In the long-run, friction between your agency and client escalates as new disagreements emerge, leading to the dissolution of the partnership because the client’s expectations were not managed appropriately and promptly. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to manage the client’s expectation in case your agency is already in a long-term partnership without definitive timelines for each milestone.
- Use the most suitable and effective line of communication, and for example, chat services can be more effective than email.
- Monitor the client’s responses to your progress for each milestone.
- Schedule data gathering and analytics to anticipate problems before they occur.
Set the Standard Right from the Start
In the recent past, the services offer by white-label partnerships have broadened to cater to more demands from clients, which were previously out of the scope of the functions of agencies. This evolution is attributed to changes in the client’s expectations, sophistication, and competition in the highly globalized marketplace. To succeed, a white-label agency should address the needs of clients promptly and appropriately because the success of the clients’ business depends on the response of your outsource agency. For example, a client who needs to move into a new market segment quickly to capitalize on a seasonal opportunity can seek the service of your white label agency to develop a marketing strategy. In this example, the client’s ability to capitalize on the opportunity heavily depends on your response time. The importance of the project imposes an unrealistic expectation on the client, which implies that you need to manage their expectations right from the start. Your client needs to understand that marketing strategy is just a plan, not a guarantee of success. This does not mean that you should squash the dreams and aspirations of the client. You only need to inform the client that there are factors beyond your control, which can undermine the effectiveness of the marketing strategy; for example, a competitor comes up with a better marketing strategy.
Factors affecting clients’ expectations
Define Terms of Partnership
Managing client’s expectations right from the start can be achieved by a clear definition of terms of the partnership. For example, your agency enters into a long-term partnership to implement a digital transformation strategy that includes SEO and maintenance of the client’s e-commerce site. In this case, it is important to define maintenance and agree on the definition right from the start. Even though the maintenance is a common term, its definition varies depending on whom you ask. For some, maintenance is required whenever they feel it is required while others set definitive timelines, such as bi-annually. To manage the client’s expectations on maintenance, it is important to agree on the definition of maintenance.
Flexible infrastructure and platforms
Even though most white label partnerships start with the client seeking the services offered by the agency, the client’s needs increase with time. For example, your agency enters a long-term partnership with a start-up business to design and maintain their e-commerce platform. After a few years, the start-ups customer base expands, and they require a mobile application linked to the e-commerce website. The client will expect you to develop the app regardless of whether your agency offers or does not offer mobile app development services. This creates a dilemma because the client’s expectation is for you to develop the app; on the other hand, your agency does not have the expertise or capacity to deliver the client’s request. To avoid this situation, you can adopt flexible infrastructure and platforms to enable your agency to grow along with the clients. Matching your agency’s capacity with the client’s growth is an effective strategy for managing the expectations of your clients.
Transparency and honesty
Transparency is vital in managing client’s expectations in white label partnerships than any other business partnership because trust is the foundation of agency-clients relationship. Regardless of the situation, your agency should avoid keeping secrets from the client. In case a client requests a web design, SEO, marketing strategy, mobile app development, or any other service which your firm cannot deliver, you should inform the client that you lack capacity instead of managing their expectations dishonestly for money.
Manage Clients’ Expectations by Partnering with White Label Agency
Analysis of these strategies highlights that a majority seek to manage expectations of the client by mitigating the fact that the white label agency lacks capacity. Therefore, the root cause of mismatched expectations and capacity is not over-expectation by the customers but the lack of capacity in the agency. Your outsource agency can partner with a White Label Agency with years of experience, expertise, and resources you need to increase your capacity to the clients’ expectations. These strategies only manage specific expectations. On the other hand, partnering with an established white label agency will address most, if not all, expectations from clients. It is more effective if your agency delivers the client’s expectations. Why manage expectations when you can address them by acquiring the capacity you need from an established White Label Agency?