Client Performance: Best-practice Agency Evaluation Series Part 6

Posted by Richard Benyon on Jun 1, 2015 1:21:00 PM

agency evaluation

Agency Evaluation Issues


Should the performance of the Client be included in the relationship evaluation program? This is a hot question at the moment.

The issues are implicit in the heading from another Decideware White Paper – “Can You Handle The Truth? Using 360 degree Feedback As Part Of Your Agency Evaluation Program”. But underlying this issue is the reality that the client ultimately leads the relationship (briefing and budgeting) and has the final say (approval).

Seek Feedback on Client Performance


Given the leadership role of the Client in the relationship, best practice relationship evaluation demands assessment of the Client performance as well as that of the Agency. How best to accomplish this given the obvious sensibilities on both sides?

A prerequisite for success when evaluating the Client’s performance is trust:-

  • The agency must trust that the client will use the feedback in a constructive manner. The agency needs to feel that your organization is committed to improving the relationship for the mutual benefit of both parties.
  • The client marketing stakeholders must trust that their agencies are approaching the process with the objective of improving the relationship, not just to release pent-up frustration.
  • The client marketing stakeholders must trust that senior management will use the findings in a positive way, and should thus not view it as a threat.

This may mean that evaluation of the Client’s performance is best phased in, either after evaluation only of the Agency’s performance has commenced, or  account-by-account.

What should be measured when evaluating the Client’s performance? Best practice questionnaires or scorecards focus exclusively on enabling processes and behaviors i.e. factors at the Client which help the agency perform its designated role. On the other hand, the agency should not being asked to comment on the client’s marketing/advertising skills!

Another best practice procedure is to have the marketing team help build the criteria on which they are to be evaluated. This has the dual benefit of having them perceive the results as more relevant, as well as being more committed to act on the feedback.

Finally, best practice evaluation of client performance ensures that any issues or outcomes that arise can be acted upon. There is no point in asking a question if the Client organization either cannot, or is unwilling to make a change in the measured area.

Download our Agency Evaluation Whitepaper