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Did you know time is the most valuable resource for clients? How are you helping clients maximize their time with your services? The relationship between agency responsiveness and revenue is something more agencies should be looking at closely and something that will surely give you a competitive advantage. No matter how good you are at what you do, clients are noticing the time you take to do it. They no longer tolerate months of no communication to then arise with a magical strategy. They want to know what’s going on and how long you’ll take to deliver results. In fact, they’re even willing to pay more for speed. Tune in to hear from an expert on how you can use time and responsiveness to your advantage without making big changes to your process.

Jay Baer is an author and business growth and marketing expert with over 30 years of experience in the field. He’s written seven business books and owned a series of agencies for most of his career 30 years. Currently, he’s “sans agency” as he just sold his global consulting firm 18 months ago. Jay shares his insights on how to create a competitive advantage for your agency. To this end, he emphasizes the need to adapt to changes in customer behavior by focusing on the importance of time and responsiveness in capturing customer loyalty and generating revenue.

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

  • Prioritizing responsiveness when working with clients.
  • Agency responsiveness as a distinct competitive advantage.
  • A small change to make a great difference: Response without answers.
  • Closing the uncertainty gap.

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Sponsors and Resources

E2M Solutions: Today's episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by E2M Solutions, a web design, and development agency that has provided white-label services for the past 10 years to agencies all over the world. Check out e2msolutions.com/smartagency and get 10% off for the first three months of service.

 

Other Smart Agency interviews with Jay Baer:

Converting More Clients by Helping Rather than Selling

Talk Triggers that Get Clients Knocking on Your Door

Are Agencies Conscious of How They Spend Clients' Time?

Jay has gotten into the habit of writing new books and frameworks every three years, which is the time it takes for customer behavior to change. Clients’ needs and competitive advantages will change every couple of years and it’s important to keep this in mind to stay ahead of the competition. His more recent research revolves around our relationship with time and how it’s changed after the pandemic.

I think time is actually the only resource on this planet that we actually share equally,” Jay explains. The pandemic was a harsh reminder that nothing is guaranteed and tomorrow is not promised. We have become more conscious of how we spend our time, which has led to various trends in business and personal life. After conducting extensive research on the relationship between responsiveness and revenue, Jay found that, surprisingly, two-thirds of customers now consider speed as important as price when making purchasing decisions. Causing customers to waste time can lead to financial losses.

His research findings resonate with agency owners, who often find themselves in a dilemma. As customers, they desire immediate responses and efficient service. However, do they prioritize responsiveness when working with their own clients?

Agency Responsiveness as a Way to Get a Distinctive Competitive Advantage 

Based on these findings, agencies should be using responsiveness as a distinct competitive advantage in business. Basically, with current expectations in customer service, the fastest business will win. Of course, you can also be TOO fast and lose customers’ trust in the process. This is commonly seen with chatbots, where an immediate response is seen as indicative of not dealing with a person who can answer your question. In his book, Jay clarifies business owners should be looking for “the right now”, which takes a clear understanding of an agency’s performance.

He recommends implementing a Got it audit, by answering how long does it take your clients to get a response? To get an invoice? To get a report? Basically to get any of the services your agency offers. It may seem like a basic question, but all too often agencies can’t answer it. Only by knowing this can agencies identify areas of improvement and make informed decisions to enhance their operations. After all, the perfect amount of time will always be just a little bit faster than the clients expect.

Teaching Agency Teams to 'Respond Without Answers'

According to Jay, every agency team should be trained to “respond without answers”. Basically, it’ll happen from time to time that clients ask a question for which you don’t have an immediate answer, so you set out to look for that answer and respond once you have it. However, what happens while you’re looking for that answer? The person who asked the question has no information and they’re freaking out. Instead, by acknowledging their client inquiry and informing them that their question is being addressed, you can alleviate client concerns and build trust.

This small gesture completely changes their experience and helps manage client expectations. Furthermore, it can also buy you more time now that the client knows you’re on it. Not only will it help you run your agency better, but improving your responsiveness efforts can have a huge impact on all your relationships.

How to Close the Uncertainty Gap with Clients

We live in an era where we interpret speed as caring and responsiveness as respect. As consumers, we take notice of a company’s responsiveness before any money is exchanged. If there’s no respect before a deal is made, there won’t be respect after.

Jay sees this as "Closing the Uncertainty Gap". Many agencies’ tendency to make a deal and then disappear for three months while they build a strategy creates an uncertainty gap; Jay defines this gap as “the difference between what you know about what’s going on and what the client knows”. Clients hate waiting and hate not knowing what’s going on. Technology has transformed the way we receive services, providing us with real-time updates and information. Hence, long periods of nothing while the agency works on a strategy is just not acceptable anymore.

Agencies tend to fall behind in this aspect as they cling to opacity believing that clients will appreciate their "secret sauce." This is categorically wrong. Close the uncertainty gap whenever possible by creating a visual map that will inform your client of at least the main steps of your process so they understand what’s going to happen and everyone’s on the same page.

Do You Turn Down Rush Jobs? You Shouldn't

In his research, Jay was surprised to find that, not only do clients appreciate speed as much as pricing, a lot of them are willing to pay up to 50% to avoid waiting.

In light of this, he urges agencies to reconsider their processes. Most agencies work with a “first come first served” order. But what if for whatever reason needs instantaneous service? “Don’t turn down the rush,” Jay advises. It’s a great opportunity. Agencies willing to be flexible and willing to accommodate rush jobs can charge a premium for it. This way, you can cater to clients' needs and preferences while also maximizing your revenue. You’ll be surprised at how many clients are willing to pay for it.

Now what happens with the client who was next in line and gets bumped back? Offer a 5% discount for those 3 or 4 days of delay in delivering their project. Everyone will be happy and you’ll make 15% more just for reorganizing your project plan.

Do You Want to Transform Your Agency from a Liability to an Asset?

If you want to be around amazing agency owners who can see what you may not be able to see and help you grow your agency, go to Agency Mastery 360.  Our agency growth program helps you take a 360-degree view of your agency and gain mastery of the 3 pillar systems (attract, convert, scale) so you can create predictability, wealth, and freedom.


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