Face-to-Face Still Matters
Face-to-face still matters even in our digital industry. When our entire day revolves around the computer interface – and the posting, tweeting, emailing, liking, coding, and designing done therein – it is still paramount to an agency's client retention rate to make time for the face-to-face.
This became most apparent for Dumbwaiter when we encountered an issue transitioning our clients from prospective customers to paying customers. We quickly realized this was largely due to our lack of first-person conversation with those clients. When the only communications the prospective clients request of your agency consist of emails, the odd conference call, and a lengthy proposal with an intimidating dollar amount at the end, they're doing themselves a disservice.
Our solution was a simple one. We chose to go back to face-to-face pitch meetings and strategy sessions with our clients. This became more challenging when Dumbwaiter began encountering a larger volume of potential clients, but there was simply no substitute for introducing the client to the team that would be handling their web project.
Once we got in the room with these potential clients, the amount of intangibles lost to virtual communtication became glaringly apparent. Body language and voice inflections we display, our visible passion for the digital industry, and our rapid response time to technical questions all affected the client's impression of our team tremendously.
Add to that the content strategy and information architecture solutions that can be completed in a relatively short amount of time, and the in-person meetings led to change of scope and clarification of client needs. This clarification of project scope is followed by a decrease in project costs and ultimately an increase in client retention.
We are a digital agency operating in a digital realm, but we found one of our greatest assets is making time for the face-to-face and good ole' fashioned people skills.