We provide and receive a lot of feedback in our business.
Agencies give feedback internally on creative work and presentation decks. We provide performance reviews to team members, and let vendors know when they’ve succeeded or failed.
Clients provide feedback on our strategic thinking, planning and creative work, which is a critical part of the business. Unfortunately, some of the most important feedback is rarely asked for by agencies, nor provided by clients.
This involves an ongoing feedback loop that includes:
- What the agency is doing well.
- The areas in which they can improve.
- Pain points in the relationship.
- What the agency appreciates about the client.
- Areas where the client could improve.
In this fast-paced, deadline-driven world, it’s easy to focus feedback on the task at hand. But, like a marriage, it’s hard to improve a relationship if you only talk about what you’re having for dinner.
We all know important relationships in life must be nurtured. Client-agency relationships should be treated the same way.
It’s important to have in-depth feedback discussions formally and regularly. Quarterly, semi-annually or at least part of an Annual Planning process—whatever is appropriate—but commit to engaging in these discussions. Make these discussions honest. Send questions ahead of time (if preferred) and create plans of action against outcomes. The result will be a higher level of trust and partnership, and will make both agency and client more accountable, and ultimately better.
Have any feedback on this post? I’m all for it.