Building a strong client-agency relationship in the insights industry can be tough, mainly due to a perception gap about the other party on both sides of the relationship.
One of our whitepapers tackles this very topic; FlexMR North American Client Development Manager Heather Wendlandt conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with a series of senior insight professionals on both sides of the equation. What Heather discovered was a number of miscommunications taken on both sides driven by the lack of understanding without knowing how to bridge the gap.
We explore this concept further in the new video in our Casual Conversation series, where Helpdesk Agents, Russell Elliott and Laura Calvert, and our CEO, Paul Hudson, share their knowledge on how to build better relationships with clients.
Building Strong Partnerships
Insight agencies and insight users. There are two related elements discussed in this video: the challenges currently hindering client-agency relationships, and the factors that make a strong relationship.
There are significant challenges to building up a relationship with clients and agency-side insight professionals all centring on communication. The first significant challenge Russell, Laura, and Paul all mention is a lack of understanding. A lack of understanding in research goals, of stakeholder and researcher limitations, of contextual factors, of how to communicate with each other.
Imagine you’re talking with someone about the same topic, but you’re both approaching it from slightly different angles. When you both don’t know you’re talking from different angles emotions such as frustration, tension, and stress, all culminating towards a disappointing discussion. Communication is more than just explaining your side of the topic; it’s about taking the time to listen to the other party as you explore both sides of the topic thoroughly, expanding each other’s understanding.
The main impact of thorough communication between clients and agencies is a strong developing partnership. This partnership is the key to conducting a truly successful research project, and builds the confidence needed in both parties to conduct research of this calibre.
Strengthening these relationships between clients and agencies incites comfort and trust, and an easier time communicating with each other throughout the time working together; this comfort and trust is critical to aiding stakeholders in opening up, sharing information they might have otherwise kept to themselves that could be crucial to designing the right research strategy.
Laura, Russell, and Paul all have significant experience in building strong client-agency relationships right from the start, throughout the research strategy, until the insights are safely in the stakeholders’ hands. Watch the video now to listen to their experiences communication and building relationships with clients.
The Casual Conversation Series
A Casual Conversation on… is a series of short, candid videos with the FlexMR leadership team that introduce the key offerings of the agency, our thinking and viewpoints on the future of market research and the insight industry. Throughout these videos, you’ll hear direct from those involved in designing the InsightHub platform and the unique agency model that FlexMR operates.
This article and video were originally published on the FlexMR Insight Blog, and can be accessed here.