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Five Things Business Leaders Need To Know About Agency Relationships

Agency relationships can be more than a necessary evil. A lot of people see them as endless consultations with sales people or pray-hoping that the agency lives up to the thousands of pounds it quotes you for a job.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Great agencies focus on building strong relationships with their clients that are long lasting and, above all else, beneficial to the client.

You should never have to think of how you’ll cut your losses and start again.

Going Beyond The Necessary Evil

There are many benefits that go beyond seeing your agency as a necessary evil.

At xDesign, we talk about our clients being our partners. We believe in, and have built our business off, strong interpersonal relationships. Like all good partnerships, that means being able to depend on expertise and knowledge and having the other party affect your thoughts and decisions at every turn.

There’s a stark difference between a partner and a supplier.

A partner goes on the journey with you and knows the value of your success to your business and helps to create solutions that work for you.

A supplier thinks in terms of billable hours and getting through tasks as quickly as possible and is always juggling your needs with another client’s.

Your New Is Our Normal

A lot of people that come to us are just beginning to understand what digital transformation means for their business and the opportunities it presents.

They’re contending with budgets, timelines, pressure and politics that make it easy to think about finding the fastest solution, but not always the best solution.

Sound familiar?

We’ve worked with dozens of people in your situation, so we know that it’s important to take you from having a problem or opportunity and walk you through a process that solves it, maps out a plan, involves your stakeholders, and builds trust as quickly as possible.

Working with an agency shouldn’t be stressful. Our Product Owners are always focused on making things as easy as possible through daily check-ins and fortnightly product demos.

We work hard to make working with us as simple and straightforward as possible. This also means that we have fully formed teams - we’re not getting in outsourced talent - and they’re up to speed on engineering best practices.

And Your Normal is Our New

Sometimes, all a particularly challenging problem or untapped opportunity needs is a fresh set of eyes.

We pride ourselves on helping our clients get the best out of their project and understanding things from the first principles.

We might not look like it, but we’ve been out on runways, on train tracks and in labs and stores - walking in the shoes of pilots, engineers, scientists and customers - so we can get a true sense for your opportunities.

Between our teams of engineers and product owners, we’ve tackled every problem that businesses undergoing software development and digital transformation can throw at us.

We know how to come up with solutions and have done so for travel and tourism, energy, hospitality, media and healthcare.

That’s what partnerships are about: bringing your best to the table.

The Wargame

It’s no secret that one of the challenges of bringing an agency on board is questions around budget and quality. Is it a case of getting what you pay for or paying more than you should have?

We believe in having those conversations with our business partners. Before a project begins, you should know how much it’s going to cost and how long it’s going to take. Without that information, you’re being cut off at the knees.

Our discovery and rough order of magnitude processes will give you a strong idea of how much it will cost and how long it will take. Before any ideas make it onto the product roadmap, they’re challenged, vetted and made to stack up against the customer need, value and level of extra engineering time.

If it makes the project 1% better for the user but takes 10 times longer to build, is it a necessary feature?

At every stage of the process, we’re here to bounce ideas off, give you the expert view about the implications of changing priorities and help you navigate your project and new agency relationship.

We’re on Your Side

The partnership focus of our relationships with our clients means that we’re looking out for you more than just reaching deadlines.

We’re here to help you navigate the challenges of bringing a product to life but also to help manage the relationships with your stakeholders, pull that last minute miracle that gets the product ready for the launch that was moved up and, most importantly, keep the train on the tracks so you can focus on what you need to be doing without any hindrance from us.

Your success is our success and we want to help you, as well as your project, thrive. You can keep us in your back pocket for presentation materials, joint meetings or having our engineers explain the logic and mechanics behind new features and changes in the project plan.

As challenging as building a new relationship with an agency can be, it should also be rewarding and help drive your business and projects forward. Not slow them down.

If you’re ready to build a strong relationship for your next project, get in touch.