When it comes to building and managing strong partnerships between clients and agencies, no details are too small. It is often the repeated micro-interactions that create a foundation for long-term trust and loyalty.
Take into account your status check-ins, requests and of course approvals. This day-to-day communication can have a huge impact on how your customer understands your work. A few tweaks can completely turn a cumbersome process into an experience that positions your agency as a true creative partner.
If you want to streamline your processes, your social media approval workflow is a good place to start. In this article we will explain how this daily interaction can strengthen the agency-client relationship.
How approval workflows strengthen the relationships between agency and customer
According to Sprout’s Agency Pricing & Packaging Report, 70% of agencies state that social networking is an integral part of their overall service package. Since social media is becoming a central component of the agency’s offering, the infrastructure must be in place so that it can run smoothly on a large scale.
Post approvals are a small but important step in any social media service offering. In the worst case, they can involve a lot of follow-up, wasting time for both you and your client. But at best, they can create customer stickiness. Client-agency relationships grow stronger when these processes become small opportunities for collaboration. Here’s how:
1. Demonstrate the value of the social with a routine touchpoint
Your world is social, but for your customers it is only a fraction of their everyday life. Approval workflows encourage more active collaboration between you and your client’s teams.
Think of it this way: your performance reports summarize the results of all the hard work you put in. Your social media approval workflow gives your customers a behind-the-scenes look and a more detailed view of your booking schedule without spending a lot of time investing.
This will help your client gain a deeper understanding of the strategy work you put into developing their social presence. The better your customers understand your strategy, the better they can work as a creative partner for your team in content brainstorms.
2. Prevent errors before they happen
A good reputation is hard earned and, given the speed of the social environment, easily damaged. While successful client-agency partnerships are usually backed by your performance versus results, sometimes it is what you don’t do that counts.
Maintain a strong foundation of trust by incorporating quality assurance into your publishing process. In Sprout, an internal review step is added to your workflow for this purpose. This additional step ensures that your work has been approved by the agency prior to the customer review time.
Adding an internal review step to your social media approval process can act as a safeguard preventing costly errors or off-brand messages from reaching your customer, let alone their social media profiles. These measures ensure that your customer only sees high quality work that helps build trust and a positive relationship.
3. Promotion of cooperation in times of crisis
Typically, you work with a set approval and release plan. However, when a crisis arises and your schedule is thrown out the window, post-approvals support sudden shifts in content production.
When the COVID-19 protection mandates came into effect in March 2020, the Communicators Group had to re-check all of its customers’ social calendars. The agency had to work quickly to develop a strategy for releasing timely updates, many of which were announced by the hour.
To get critical updates out quickly and accurately, the team used Sprout’s Message Approval Workflow feature to design, review, and schedule new content.
“For several months we closed 100% of our posts directly through the Message Approval Workflow feature just because I couldn’t plan a month in advance,” said Raven Gill, social media manager at Communicators Group.
“We have achieved a better position where I can return to monthly planning. However, we are still working on approval workflows for some clients as things keep changing. “
The Communicators Group was able to act as a real partner and simplify an already stressful situation for their many customers. Designing your approval workflow with crisis prevention in mind can help you do the same.
4. Keep and grow your business
67% of digital marketing agencies say that customers choose them because they are establishing themselves as strategic partners. By promoting collaboration, efficiency, and quality, your social media approval workflow can strengthen your client-agency partnership and your business.
Strong customer relationships lead to recommendations. Over 90% of agencies rely on word of mouth or recommendations to open up new areas of business. Operations that optimize collaboration within your existing customer relationships can ultimately drive your new business strategy.
Well thought-out processes strengthen agency-client relationships by showing that you can scale social efforts without compromising quality or branding. It may seem simple, but it is also incredibly effective.
Create a workflow that supports lasting customer relationships
Opportunities for collaboration between agency and customer can be found in surprising places. Take routine processes and use them as an opportunity to demonstrate the real value of your agency.
Sprout’s Message Approval Workflow feature can perform every step of your process in one integrated system. Create your own approval workflow and see how much else Sprout can help your growing agency by signing up for a free trial today