In 2013 I wrote a blog article expressing my delight as Onespacemedia achieved incredible scores in an anonymous survey of clients carried out by the Recommended Agencies Register (RAR). Well - imagine how I felt this morning at the launch of the The Drum Independent Agencies Census 2015 when I learnt that Onespacemedia had become a top ten UK agency.
Every year, The Drum works with RAR to put together a census of all independently owned agencies in the UK. They segment qualifying agencies into three groups based on staff count - and then rank us in financial, peer rating and client rating tables. The client ratings are pulled from RAR and provide satisfaction scores against a range of criteria (including client service, creativity, effectiveness, strategic thinking, value for money and our capability to deliver on time and on budget). Our average across these scores was 94.8% which means that we were 9th in the UK. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this achievement.
I don’t have a huge appetite for awards and throughout my career haven’t invested much time in chasing them. Of course, I’m not saying that I don’t get a kick from winning - but if I had the choice, an accolade from a happy client is always the icing on the cake for me. Sure, awards play an important part of any agency’s sales and marketing tool kit - they help to build trust, especially when going after new business - but the long tail benefit of creating happy customers just can’t be understated. A happy client becomes an advocate for your business. They talk about you. They act as referees. They recommend you for new business. They are proud of their association with you.
When we finish a project with a client there are a few things that we do to wrap things up. Firstly we send them a handwritten thank you card from all the team. Secondly, we craft a beautiful case study for our portfolio and at the same time that we ask for sign off on the copy we ask for a quote to summarise their experience working with our team. Finally, we ask them to provide an anonymous rating of their engagement with us through the Recommended Agencies Register. These three simple actions help us to communicate our appreciation, provide us with marketing collateral that we can leverage to win future work, and give us honest feedback that we can use to improve the way we do things on our next project.
A couple of weeks ago I received our latest ratings report from the Recommended Agencies Register. It’s always a bit of a nerve wracking moment and on this occasion I was excited to see that our scores had risen considerably since the last report. Admittedly starting from a 92.4% average in 2013 didn’t give us much room for improvement but considering a lot of firms suffer from a fall in the quality of both customer service and delivery as they grow, we’ve bucked the trend and seen significant gains across the board.
So as well as becoming an official top ten agency, it also appears that we have some of the happiest clients in the UK. But before I finish by breaking down the results I want to say what a privilege it is to run Onespacemedia. Everyone who meets me knows how proud I am of the team at Onespacemedia and what we have all achieved together. My colleagues are an exceptionally talented group of individuals but when they work together, the results are outstanding. This accolade is for them.
Client service 94.5%
Creating great client relationships means that we can create an environment where we do our best work. We respect our clients’ expertise. They respect ours. Regular communication keeps everyone in the loop and ensures there are no surprises.
Creativity isn’t just about the creative or design departments (even though their work is incredible). We champion creativity throughout our organisation.
Did the website meet it’s business objectives? Did the campaign have the desired impact? Of course - that’s why our clients scored us so highly. We don’t design or develop anything at Onespacemedia until we understand what we need to achieve and how we’re going to measure the success.
Strategic thinking 93.2%
Did anyone say ‘service provider’? I hate that phrase. I prefer ‘strategic partner’ - and at Onespacemedia, we speak the language of business. There’s no room for guess work here - our decisions are backed up by data and solid rationale.
Value for money 91.4%
Pricing agency services is always a delicate balancing act. We have a premium service which has a premium price associated with it. The good news is that our clients think we’re worth the fee.
Delivering on time 95.7%
How many agencies can claim that they deliver on time, all of the time? Time is money and late projects cost agencies and their clients dearly. We’re realistic in our scheduling from the start and don’t make false promises to win business.
Delivering on budget 100%
What can I say? We always deliver on budget.