We have this client, and I’m sure you do too, that is a generally very difficult to service. There are operational roadblocks, communication roadblocks etc. They are also an agency that white labels some of our services, so there is the added problem of the telephone game to and from their clients. Generally, I feel like in the Local SEO space these are the clients that everyone hates. Personally I love them, and here is why:

If you service them to the best of your ability, and are good (empathetic) when managing the account you will develop a long term relationship that is mutually beneficial for both businesses.

Just think about it for a second, how often do pain in the ass (PITA) clients have one of these three things happen to them:

  1. The agency partner “phones it in” and basically doesn’t escalate anything to the client that may cause extra work or run into roadblocks. This essentially lowers the value of the work you are producing for the client and, as an agency partner who is white-labeling your services, they are more likely to need you to escalate these things to them (as well as need you to help them past the roadblocks.) 
  2. The agency partner “checks out” and continues to meet the client’s basic needs but does it in a way where they are turning in the least amount of work possible. Again, this lowers the value of the partnership. 
  3. Because of some of the issues, their agency partner charges them more. This could be anything from double billing them for having to redo a deliverable to charging them exorbitant “rush” fees in order to meet their deadlines. This makes the engagement much more expensive (and less beneficial) for them, even if there is a short term gain for you.

I think that all of these are pretty common, especially having talked to several agency partners about their previous experiences. So this means that if you suck it up, service the client well and manage the account empathetically and act as a partner you are leaps and bounds ahead of your “competition.”


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3 Response Comments

  • Dan Morton  July 28, 2016 at 6:08 am

    I’m just a small agency with some really great clients. Most of whom were abused by much bigger agencies in town before they found me. A common thread is the fact that, PITA or not, most of these big agencies really suck at customer relations.

    Basic things like answering the phone and returning phone calls and emails. They just don’t do it. I wonder if this turns these clients into PITAs? And having multiple, low-skilled “managers” that these big operations have obviously picked up from the street certainly don’t help.

    Let’s face it – at most of the bigger agencies customer relations and actual work are secondary to the churn of acquiring new clients to support their huge overhead.

    I find that once I show them that I’m actually doing work, getting some results and that communication is a two-way street, they are really great folks at heart.


    • Dan Leibson  July 28, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Great points fellow Dan!

  • Scott G.  July 28, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I just left corporate America, where I was an SEO/SEM, to offer service independently. I love when I get correspondence from clients and potential clients.