If you’ve spent some time working with your digital agency, then I’m sure you’ve encountered this type of client before:
They have a long list of demands…
Want to haggle with you on your pricing…
Oh, and they insist you use their project management software.
And if you’re anything like me, I’m sure it left you feeling something like this:
Look, we’re all going to have a challenging client from time to time. It comes with the territory.
But, while you may feel tempted to look the other way on some issues for the sake of landing new business, here’s the truth:
It’s a mistake for digital agencies to use their client’s project management software for collaboration.
Well that’s exactly what I’ll show you in this post. Here are the four reasons adopting a client’s collaboration platform is a mistake:
#1. You lose your home field advantage.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about sports games or sleeping in your own bed, it’s an undeniable truth:
There’s no place like home.
And the same idea extends to the software you use for managing your project management life cycle.
Think about it: adapting to a client’s platform slows your agency down by forcing your team to learn a new solution for each client.
Learning takes time and most organizations don’t train their own teams well enough on the software they use — nevermind contractors like you. According to Continu, the average employee only has about 70 percent fluency with their company’s technical software.
And even if you and your team get comfortable with some of the most common platforms, you’ll still need to overcome the hurdle of working within your client’s workflow (instead of your own).
I’ll dive into a bit more about the repercussions of each of those in a moment, but first, there’s one more major concern that comes from giving up your own project management software in favor of using a client’s instead —
You lose out on your team’s internal collaboration for the project.
One of the best parts of using a solution like Zapty is that our tool brings together client communication and internal team collaboration under a single platform.
That means clients can pose questions to you directly through the platform and any member of your team can answer it directly…
…(rather than a project manager with a single account on your client’s collaboration tool needing to bring questions back to the team to then relay in their tool).
That organization creates a more efficient and effective environment at your agency — something your business needs to scale services to additional clients. Which leads to the next reason you should avoid using a client’s project management software…
#2. It keeps you from scaling your agency.
I’m sure you’re always looking for ways to bring on more clients and grow your agency’s business.
And in the beginning, using a few different collaboration tools may not feel like that much of a strain.
But then you add three more new clients…then five…then eight…
And all of a sudden you’ve got 40 different clients all with their own platforms to use. All with their own separate log-ins and workflows. All with their own processes and list of do’s or don’ts.
You can see how something like that would keep your agency from effectively scaling, right?
Insisting on your own project management software allows you to create a more uniform way of working with clients that can help you scale your business.
And that’s not just because of the hassle multiple collaboration tools bring.
It’s because chances are, your client’s project management software isn’t even designed for the type of work you do.
#3. Your clients aren’t working on a platform built for digital agencies.
A great digital agency finds their niche and becomes a go-to source for that industry.
And the same thing goes for a good piece of software. Finding a software solution that caters specifically to what you do can make the difference between a loss of productivity and a boom to your efficiency as an agency.
An IT adoption survey conducted by Sand Hill found that businesses who use ineffective enterprise software saw a loss of productivity around 17 percent.
But here’s the good news:
We created Zapty specifically for digital agencies. The tools, features, and workflows you’ll find in our platform are built for the kinds of collaboration agencies need to thrive.
That includes —
- Team and client collaboration on the same platform. Use our messaging feature to communicate internally with your team (as well as any contractors) and our live chat feature to talk with clients in real-time.
- Features designed to hold your team accountable. Tasks, projects, shared calendars, and automatic reminders ensure everyone in your agency knows what’s expected of them (and when).
- Real-time, single source document collaboration. No more sending emails back-and-forth with clients and your team working to gather feedback on a mockup or draft. All your documentation lives in Zapty and both your clients and team can annotate or add comments directly to the document.
- Shared project history. Make looping in contractors or other members of your team a cinch with easily searchable project histories shared between you and the client. These also work as a great repellant for scope creep, too.
And perhaps the best part of all this is that you get to do it while maintaining your own brand identity — something that gets completely lost when using your client’s project management software.
#4. You lose out on your brand identity.
You’re a digital agency…my guess is that you know a thing or two about how to brand yourself.
And along with that, I’m sure you also know that brand consistency is key to building trust and authority with your clients.
But, when you manage your entire relationship with the client in their collaboration software, you have almost zero opportunities to build up brand equity.
And a lack of brand equity means you could be missing out on significant opportunities for upselling clients, generating referrals, and even retaining the client’s business.
A 2011 study on the auto industry found a direct correlation between brand equity (as measured by Young & Rubicam’s Brand Asset Valuator and a customer’s lifetime spend with the auto producer. In short: the better a brand is at establishing their identity through marketing, the more money customers will spend with you throughout your relationship.
And that’s why we put your brand identity front and center on our project collaboration platform. In case you didn’t know…
Zapty is a fully customizable white label solution, built to adapt to your agency’s brand and client needs.
That means your clients are continuously exposed to your agency’s brand throughout the entirety of the project management life cycle, through a platform that looks and feels like something built just for you.
Ready to check it out for yourself?
We’re offering a free trial for digital agencies that gives you all the functionality Zapty has to offer.
Take our platform for a spin and see how much more effective it can be for collaborating with your team and clients alike.