Over the last 18 years Jordan Twigg Design has built and maintained some very long customer relationships, but how and why have these worked for us?
Graphic design agencies cannot survive without clients, but for some it is a never-ending quest for the next client, whilst for others it is a balance between maintaining the client base they have and periodically adding to it.
In the 1980s and 90s, when advertising agencies were rife, clients were held with monthly retainers, which went towards servicing their account. In-house account managers would spend their day’s cosseting and looking after these clients to seemingly add value to the retainer.
Those days are long gone and the entire advertising industry has been blown apart creating lots of new avenues for businesses to take when marketing their goods and services. Some larger agencies still remain and have evolved online and offline marketing techniques which are still afforded by the blue chip clients.
But what about all the smaller agencies that have survived this metamorphosis of the industry, can we build beneficial relationships with our clients in such a competitive market?
Loyalty comes with adaptability
I have been in this industry for, cough, cough, over 28 years now and like all designers have had to change and adapt how I work and what sort of work I do. And it is this ability, to keep pace with changes in knowledge and techniques that is transferable to client loyalty. Keeping abreast of the latest ideas and advances in technology adds value to your service, as well as expanding opportunities for your clients.
Being flexible doesn’t have to mean being on call 24 hours a day, or dropping everything to rush to a meeting. It’s approaching all your clients requests with an open mind and not rigidly sticking to the same formulae. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, as long as you feel you can manage or can partner with other people, to provide associated services. This leads to the third quality needed.
Too many times you feel sales people will string together sentences aimed at repeating what you’ve already told them, not what they honestly think. But honesty is a key element to trust in any partnership and clients are no different. How can you recommend marketing solutions you don’t believe in? If I feel a particular route is not right for my client I will discuss it with them along with alternative solutions.
I have touched on three qualities here, whilst it stands to reason that quality of work, costs and meeting deadlines are important, they should be standard practice for everyone.
It was only after recently completing the 2011 Tour Guide for the Ladies European Tour, that I sorted out all the old editions and realised that this was the 17th guide I had completed. It is one job where we have always had to be flexible, adaptable and honest. Over the years we have had to adjust to tighter deadlines, as the Tour has grown. The time between one tour ending and the next starting has reduced to less than a month.
The original Tour Guide was 128 pages, this has now grown to 292 pages as well as the need for a digital version. The ever growing amount of information, the Guide contains, means we have had to adapt to using programmes such as Excel and Word, to manipulate the information first, making the artwork quicker and easier to produce.
“The Ladies European Tour is delighted that Jordan Twigg has designed the official Tour Guide for the last seventeen years. The company always delivers work of the highest quality and their professionalism is second to none.”
Bethan Cutler, Media Manager, Ladies European Tour