Talking Client Success with Whitney Bedard

Zephyr Jaeger

With a growing roster of diverse clients, managing those partnerships is a crucial aspect of our work. 

Over the past 17 years, Fishnet has grown a lot. We’ve expanded our client roster, grown our team, moved to a bigger space, and broadened our capabilities. Through it all, though, one essential aspect of operating a successful marketing agency has been at the forefront of work: building and maintaining strong client partnerships. Our Director of Client Success, Whitney Bedard, plays the key role in that area, so we spoke with her (and others) about how she approaches the role and what she feels are some of the most important components of client relationship management. 

The Basics of Client Success

Relationships require work. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a friendship, or even your rapport with the barista at your local coffee shop, forging and maintaining successful relationships is a never-ending process. But what’s the most common and arguably most important aspect of that process? 

Communication, communication, communication. 

At Fishnet, establishing clear and direct communication guidelines and practices is the basis of every client relationship we have.

“There’s no gray area of what’s going on or what’s coming. We’re going to have regular touch points, weekly, biweekly, monthly, whatever is outlined in the scope of work, just to make sure we’re all on the same page,” shared Whitney. “From the outset, our communication scheduling takes the question mark out of the equation.

Since starting at Fishnet in 2022, Whitney has become an integral team member who grows our client success strategy every day. From one-off projects to years-long accounts, Whitney handles every partnership and project with the highest standards of client success. 

“Whitney brings a level of enthusiasm that resonates with our clients, and her past experiences bring a focus to customer retention and engagement,” shared Michael Packard, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Fishnet. 

Taking Client Success to the Next Level 

‘It’s just business’ is a complicated phrase. Keeping things professional is, of course, always a top priority, but we take a very thoughtful approach to our business relationship style. We are a small company run by two founders who have worked for nearly two decades to build their reputation and brand. Today, we are able to work with clients that we really believe in, that inspire our team with their work, and that we genuinely love partnering with. That energy runs through everything we do at Fishnet, guiding us as we take on new clients and expand our relationships with existing ones. 

“I take a vested interest in our clients and want their businesses to grow. I take on the role of being an advocate for them,” Whitney explained. “I think of it as being an extension of our clients’ teams. We want to make sure that they feel like we are part of their team and that we understand their business so that when they have requests it feels like they’re asking someone on their own team.”

Meshing with our clients, especially our long-term ones, is essential to both a good working relationship and the creation of high-quality work. The better the communication and trust, the better we as an agency are at operating and fulfilling our clients’ needs. 

Another aspect of building successful client relationships is investing the time it takes to build that trust and sense of teamwork. 

“We have some partners that have really valued the face-to-face time we spend with them, whether it is for planning and strategy meetings or digging in to collaborate and solve problems,” said Michael Packard. “We’ve found that our clients respect the ‘real deal’ you get with Fishnet – and that’s simply because of the people we have, our approach, and our experience.”

Navigating the Road to Client Success

Communication, active listening, establishing trust; these are all aspects of client success that we’ve touched on so far, but as we all know, business relationships require more than biweekly touchpoints and a friendly email tone. In the world of marketing, there are dozens of little things to consider all at once, from font choices to PR strategies, and oftentimes, coming to a final decision means reaching a consensus. Our goal is always to bring our clients’ visions to life but to make that happen, we have to put our expertise at the forefront. It’s a long and winding road sometimes, especially with certain types of projects or more involved ones, such as new brand launches, but it’s all part of why we love what we do. 

“Overall, it comes down to meeting people where they’re at and listening to what their needs are and how their business is evolving,” Whitney said. “They may or may not have strategies in mind and our job is either to bring those to life or help establish them in the first place. Understanding the ‘why’ and the strategy behind requests from their perspective is essential,”

We can’t and don’t just take what clients say and run with it. 

“I think it’s really important for us to seek to understand the goals and then redefine the task in a way that still helps them meet their objectives. So that way they can take it back to someone, whether it’s a board of directors or an investor or a CEO, and back it up to them,” Whitney added. 

At times, this process runs the risk of getting complicated, which is why we’ve worked hard to establish a culture of respectful, open communication. 

“Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of client relationship management,” Michael Packard shared. “I think being clear, honest, and following through are the foundations of a mutually respectful relationship.” 

Clients come to us because they need assistance with their marketing efforts, which often means they may not know the way to reach their goals on their own. By fostering a relationship built on trust and a shared belief in the client’s work, we can more effectively execute marketing efforts that accomplish the client’s goals. 

Mastering the Agency-Client Balance

Being a Director of Client Success at an agency means Whitney is constantly jumping from one client and project to another, facilitating a brand launch for a clothing company one minute and then overseeing the redesign of a cybersecurity company’s website the next. 

From technology specialists to marketing interns, Whitney’s role requires communicating with vastly different client contacts on a daily basis, so she’s become a chameleon of sorts. She’s learned when and if to reach out, how to approach people in different positions, and how each of our clients prefers to communicate. With each interaction, she’s strengthening Fishnet’s client relationships and ensuring that our partnerships flourish. 

Maybe you’re working with an agency already, but feel like the relationship could be better. Or maybe you’d like to start an agency partnership to help your company reach its marketing goals. Whatever the reason, Fishnet is here to help. Contact us to start a conversation about how we work with our clients and develop meaningful partnerships that work. 

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Zephyr Jaeger
Zephyr Jaeger
As a Content Strategist/Copywriter here at Fishnet, I work on a wide range of content and copy work. From Fishnet blogs, to writing and reviewing client website copy, to SEO research, I’m always jumping from one aspect of content production to another. I work closely with all departments, especially those on the creative side of things, to craft the best content possible for Fishnet and their valued clients.

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