Is the apprehension of under-delivery hampering your confidence to charge your clients more or scale your agency’s services? It’s a more common problem than you’d think. So, let’s unravel it together with an actionable step-by-step plan that will boost your trust in your team, enabling you to price your services appropriately and confidently take on more business.
Step 1: Refine Your Service Portfolio
Imagine a restaurant where the chef insists on offering a menu as vast as an encyclopedia, aiming to please every palate. It’s not only exhaustive but also challenging to maintain consistency and quality across so many dishes.
Similarly, your service offerings should be concise and cater to your agency’s strengths. Use a SWOT analysis to evaluate each service’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Next, apply the Pareto Principle to identify the 20% of services bringing in 80% of the value.
Say you’re a marketing agency offering everything from social media management to VR-based experiential marketing. But upon analysis, you find out your team shines in content creation and SEO, whereas VR marketing, although trendy, is resource-intensive with low ROI. In this case, it would make sense to focus on your profitable and efficient services and reduce emphasis on or eliminate the underperforming ones.
Step 2: Identify the Obstacles in Your Delivery Path
Your agency is a bustling city, and the three key elements – people, processes, and tools – are its vital infrastructure.
To check on your ‘people’, conduct anonymous surveys or focus groups. It’s like doing a community survey, assessing the morale, motivation, and skills within your team. For instance, if you find that a majority of your team members feel undertrained for certain tasks, it’s time to invest in skill development programs or reassign tasks according to individual strengths.
In evaluating ‘processes’, apply techniques like process mapping. It’s similar to examining your city’s traffic flow and identifying congestion points. For example, if the approval process for a task is bouncing between too many desks, leading to delayed project deliveries, it’s time to streamline it.
Finally, for ‘tools’, critically analyze your tech stack. Are your tools up-to-date, user-friendly, and effective? If your city’s buses are always breaking down or the routes are ineffective, it’s time for an upgrade or an overhaul.
Step 3: Rank Problems Using a Cause and Effect Matrix
Now that you’ve gathered your problems, imagine them as a deck of cards. Use a cause and effect matrix to sort them not by their suit or number, but by their impact on your agency’s service delivery.
On one side, list the problems (the causes), and on the other, list their impacts (the effects). Assign a score for each based on severity. For instance, if slow approval processes are causing missed deadlines and unhappy clients, it’s a high-scoring problem that needs priority attention.
Step 4: Designate Problem-Solving Champions
As you’ve sorted your deck of problems, it’s time to distribute them to your problem-solving champions. Your team is your league of superheroes, each with their unique superpowers. Assign problems based on these strengths and capacities.
For example, if one problem identified is an outdated customer relationship management tool, assign the task of researching and suggesting alternatives to a team member who’s tech-savvy and understands your agency’s requirements. Make sure to discuss the objectives clearly, set realistic timelines, and ensure your champions have the resources they need to fight their battles.
Step 5: Keep an Eye on the Ball
Monitoring the implementation of solutions is like being a referee in a game. Set up key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. These could include the time taken to resolve the problem, the quality of the solution, and the impact on overall service delivery. Regular progress meetings will ensure everyone’s on track and any issues during implementation are addressed promptly.
Step 6: Play the Game Again
Operational improvement isn’t a one-time championship; it’s an ongoing league. Schedule these steps to be repeated every quarter or when a significant issue arises. This practice keeps your agency in the continual improvement mode, always ready for the next game, and ensures you stay at the top of the league.
Uplifting your agency to the next level doesn’t have to be a scary leap in the dark. With this step-by-step playbook, you’ll foster a culture of continuous improvement, nurture trust in your service delivery, and power up your agency operations. So, pull up your socks, step onto the field, and let’s start the game!