Client meetings are a critical part of the digital agency business. They are an opportunity to build relationships with clients, understand their needs, and develop strategies that will help them achieve their goals.
However, client meetings can also be a source of stress for digital agencies. Here are a few common issues that arise around client meetings which can be resolved or improved using technology:
- Unclear objectives: Oftentimes, clients don't have clear objectives for their meetings. This can make it difficult for the agency to understand what the client is trying to achieve and to provide relevant and helpful advice.
- Lack of preparation: Clients sometimes don't come to meetings prepared. This can lead to wasted time and frustration for both the agency and the client.
- Disorganized meetings: Meetings can sometimes be disorganized and unproductive. This can be due to a lack of agenda, poor communication, or simply a lack of focus.
- Unclear action items: It's important to come away from meetings with clear action items. However, this doesn't always happen. This can lead to confusion and missed deadlines.
- Poor follow-up: It's important to follow up after meetings to make sure that the agreed-upon action items are being implemented. However, this doesn't always happen. This can lead to missed opportunities and a lack of progress.
If you're a digital agency, you know that client meetings can be a challenge. But they don't have to be. By following these tips, you can improve the effectiveness of your client meetings and deliver better results for your clients:
- Set clear objectives at the beginning of the meeting. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the meeting is productive. For example, you might say something like, "The goal of this meeting is to discuss our progress on the website redesign and to set some new goals for the next quarter."
- Send out an agenda in advance of the meeting. This will give clients time to prepare and come to the meeting with questions and ideas. For example, you might include the following items on your agenda:
- Review of website redesign progress (10mins)
- Discussion of new goals for the next quarter (10mins)
- Q&A (5-10mins)
- Be organized and prepared. This will show clients that you are taking their meeting seriously and that you are committed to providing them with a good experience. For example, you might come to the meeting with the following materials:
- A copy of the agenda
- Notes, recordings, transcripts, summaries, important insights from previous meetings
- Any relevant research or data to help answer and move the conversation forward
- Encourage open communication and feedback. This will help to ensure that everyone's ideas are heard and that the best possible decisions are made. For example, you might say something like, "What your thoughts and ideas on any of these topics." but make sure to stop talking and listen once you’ve asked. We recommend always leading with an open-ended question (What, How, When)
- Summarize the meeting and action items at the end. This will help to ensure that everyone is clear on what was agreed upon and that the meeting was productive.
For example, you might say something like,
Here are the action items that we agreed upon:
- We will finish the website redesign by the end of the month.
- We will start working on a new marketing campaign next week.
- We will meet again in two weeks to discuss our progress.
- Follow up after the meeting to ensure that action items are being implemented. This will show clients that you are committed to delivering results. For example, you might send an email to the client a few days after the meeting to check in and see how they're doing.
- Provide a shared client workspace of your conversations about the client (internal and external). This develops and deepens trust between your client and you as they have access to what they said, and gain an insight into how the sausage is made.
Let’s explore those a little bit further:
How to set clear objectives for client meetings
For a digital agency, not setting a clear objective for a client meeting can lead to the meeting being unproductive and inefficient, as the agency and client may not be on the same page about what they hope to achieve.
- Start by asking the client what they hope to achieve from the meeting.
- Once you know the client's goals, you can set some specific objectives for the meeting.
These objectives should be measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
For example, if the client wants to redesign their website, you might set the following objectives for the meeting:
- Review the current website and identify areas for improvement.
- Discuss the client's goals for the new website.
- Develop a plan for the website redesign.
- Set a deadline for the completion of the website redesign.
You can use the following template to set clear objectives for your client meetings:
- Meeting objective:
- What do you hope to achieve from this meeting?
- Measurable: How will you know if you have achieved your objective?
- Achievable: Is this objective realistic and achievable?
- Relevant: Is this objective relevant to the client's goals?
- Time-bound: When do you want to achieve this objective?
This will not only help you drive your client’s requirements further towards what they imagine, it will also help them verbalise and formulate what they are thinking, reducing the potential drift between what you will be doing for them, and what they really want.
How to send out an agenda in advance of client meetings
When your agency doesn’t send an agenda before a meeting, it can lead to the client not being prepared for the meeting, as they won't know what topics will be discussed. Eventually this might end up impacting your revenue as the deliverables and desires haven’t been formulated clearly in your client’s mind.
You could send out an agenda in advance of the meeting, including the date, time, location, topics that will be discussed, and any relevant documents or materials that the client should bring to the meeting.
You can use the following template to send out an agenda for your client meetings:
- Subject: Agenda for Client Meeting
- Date / Time:
- Topics to be discussed: Include a minimum of 3 topics and include times
- Documents or materials to bring: Share any type of files and preparation material ahead of time and make sure these are easily accessible.
If you are using Clearword, your calendar event will be imported and like every other meeting a page will be created where the summary with actions items will appear after the meeting. The magic part is this page also allows you to edit and create agendas and share files ahead of your meetings also.
Once added to your shared client workspace, your client will also gain access to the meeting agenda and files in a centralized place.
After the meeting, the client will get access to the summary, action items, key decisions, transcript, video recording, etc.
How to summarize the meeting and action items at the end of client meetings
When an agency doesn't summarize the meeting and action items at the end of the meeting could lead to confusion and can also lead to action items not being completed. For an agency this is critical as it directly impacts the bottom line as deadlines have a higher risk of slipping.
Agencies should review the key points of the meeting, summarize the action items that were agreed upon, assign responsibility for each action item, and set deadlines for each action item. This is also incredibly useful for other team members which may not have been part of every single client meeting.
Instead of giving you a template, here’s how a product like Clearword does this automatically for you.
How to follow up after client meetings to ensure that action items are being implemented
Not following up after client meetings to ensure that action items are being implemented is a common mistake which has the potential to lead to the client feeling like the agency is not committed to delivering results.
One rather old-fashioned but empathetic simple tip we always recommend is sending a thank-you note to the client after the meeting.
They should also check in with the client a few days after the meeting to see how they're doing and ask if they have any questions or concerns.
Here’s a basic template for following-up after client calls. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but you need to be consistent in your follow-ups:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. It was great to discuss your goals for the [project name] project.
I wanted to follow up on the action items that we agreed upon. Is there anything that I can do to help you get started?
I'll be checking in with you again in a few days to see how things are going. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks again for your business! I'm looking forward to working with you on this project.
This shows decorum and respect but also shows the agency is thorough and really cares about delivering the right product/campaign to their clients.
If any of those are interesting to you we recommend you sign-up to Clearword for free.You don't need a credit card, and within minutes your client meetings will be summarized, action items will be extracted and much more such as AI templates for digital agency meetings.