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7 tips to improve your agency’s client management

Effective client management can help you retain clients for long-term relationships that pay off.

Design By Alice Korenyouk

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8 min read

Every agency owner knows that landing new clients is a full-time job all on its own. But if you’re not tending to the clients you already have, you risk jeopardizing the relationships you’ve already built. Sure, the effort you put into lead generation and closing sales grows your bottom line, but the real bottom line is this: if you can’t retain clients, then it’s back to square one. 

Don’t throw all that time spent attracting clients down the drain once you get them. While you might already know how to score new clients, it’s time to build your client management system to tend to your existing client base too.

One workspace to manage clients and sites smoothly

But first, what is client management?

Client management is the process of building and maintaining relationships with clients to meet (and exceed) their expectations. It involves communicating with clients to understand their needs, delivering solutions and providing ongoing support to foster long-term relationships. 

Examples of client management include:

  • Checking in with clients periodically to survey their lived experience

  • Hosting monthly live Q&A webinar sessions with your client base 

  • Holding a debrief with clients following the completion of a project

  • Sending personal / automated emails to engage inactive clients

Big picture: An organized structure to manage clients puts your team in your clients’ headspace in order to systematize how you address their needs. 

What is a client management system?

A client management system, also referred to as client relationship management (CRM), is a software platform or tool designed to help your business organize, track and manage interactions with your clients. It typically includes features for contact management, communication tracking, task management, sales pipeline management and reporting. 

For instance, SEO and web design agency Zoek likes to prioritize client timelines by budget, which means they mostly use their CRM to rank and manage projects in order to pay better attention to bigger ticket clients. When choosing a CRM, consider:

  • How much it costs to add additional users

  • How in-depth the customer reporting is on the platform

  • How seamless the CRM’s team collaboration workflow is

  • How mobile-friendly the platform is for employees to access on all devices

With Wix Studio’s CRM tools, you can centralize your communication and streamline your workflows at both the workspace and client levels. For instance, on a workspace level, you can use Wix Contacts to manage your agency’s clients. Meanwhile, you can use Wix Contacts to manage your client’s customers and site visitors. 

With the right tips, your client management system can continuously elevate your client-agency relationship at all business scales. 

Wix Studio workspace

7 tips for effective client management

01. Develop ICPs to find the right clients from the start

The best way to tend to your client relationships is to work with your dream clients from the start; the people who fit the bill for your ideal customer profile (ICP), because they’re the ones with the exact problem your agency solves for. These are the clients that will be the most willing to purchase your services, refer you to others and stick around for the long term—and they’re out there looking for your services right now.

You might even have more than one ICP. Segment your customer base according to demographics, their expressed wants/needs and contextual insights that may change how you approach each client type. If you cater web design services to restaurant clients, for instance, you might choose to segment your clients based on franchise restaurants or local mom-and-pops shops. And if you’re a remote agency with clients across the globe, you might segment your clients based on their time zones. Take a look at how Brad Hussey writes welcome email sequences that converts leads to clients based on his customer segments

However you structure your client management system, know this: the better you get at identifying and working with your ICP segments, the faster you can standardize the process of working with each. 

Consider the opportunity cost of working with the wrong clients: it can make or break your business at worst, or slow down your agency’s growth at best. That’s why you should work tirelessly in your sales and marketing messaging to reach the clients that share the same values.

02. Set the standard for project planning and execution

Once you have a new client, it’s time to craft a project timeline that breaks your vision down into targets and deadlines . You have a ton of options to map your plan here, such as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, Monday boards, spreadsheets or even simple checklists. Find a solution where you can capture the entire scope of your project, including the tasks you’ll be doing and when you intend to complete them by. 

Be sure to define project milestones ahead of time, and to create a clearly defined change request process that you can introduce to new clients. On your end, this process should include a way to assess impact on project timelines and budgeting (such as how many hours,days or weeks the change will set you back, and what that will cost) so that you can quote the changes in your invoice instead of absorbing the costs.

As a rule of thumb, you should always expect the unexpected. Give yourself enough of a buffer in your timelines, should you need to make a strategic pivot—and consider as many possible scenarios as you can before they arise. 

For instance, should you continue to work if clients don’t pay on time? What happens if your client gets sick for a prolonged period of time? And how about if your client goes bankrupt while working with you? Have a contingency plan in place before things go south so you don’t get caught off guard. 

03. Communicate frequently and effectively

Clear and transparent dialogue around clients’ expectations are critical for avoiding scope creep before it happens. Set realistic deadlines and achievable results, then regularly update your client with status updates and progress reports during scheduled check-ins. 

That goes double when talking money. Offer clients reminders of their upcoming and late bills, and consider flexible payment options to take the financial burden off of your clients’ shoulders.

Of course, the best way to ensure satisfaction in the long run is to work with your clients, not just for them. Create open lines of communication—be it Slack, email or WhatsApp—to address concerns promptly. Leverage collaborative tools like Wix Studio’s workspace to customize client permissions and provide smooth client handovers. 

Remember, be easy to reach when things go wrong, and even easier to work with to make things right. While even the best agencies can’t avoid making mistakes, you can always control your response to unintended outcomes. Do your best to provide exceptional services to your clients, but also be the agency that leans into the client-designer relationship and picks up the pieces when mess-ups happen.

04. Respond to crises with grace

Luck favors the prepared agency. While you can’t predict a pandemic or sudden economic downturn, clients pay attention to how you handle major setbacks. Take steps to recession-proof your agency, and lead with humanity where possible.

In the macro, bake a way to identify potential issues into your work processes. That could look like conducting quarterly risk assessments, subscribing to channels that cover global business news, getting the right insurance and hiring consultants who can provide outside perspectives to mind gaps in business you’re unaware of.

Should an issue arise that evades your radar, have rapid response teams ready to handle client questions (and any potential PR backlash), and offer opportunities for collaborative problem-solving sessions to get the relationship back on track. If the mess-up is yours, acknowledge it, own up to it and chart your customer win-back strategy. If the client is routinely failing to provide their end of the bargain, take a moment to assess whether or not this is the right relationship.

Should you both commit to resolve the issue together, it’s imperative that both parties learn from challenges for future improvements. This goes back to communicating frequently and effectively; create continuous improvement initiatives and make time for more regular feedback sessions and post-project reviews.

05. Be your client’s thought partner  

Your clients don’t just want to work with someone who can ‘do the job.’ They want someone who brings a new perspective to the table. 

Be an indispensable agency by providing guidance on digital solutions, sending clients industry trends you come across (i.e., keeping them informed on AI digital marketing trends), and offering workshops and webinars to train clients on the types of services you provide. You can take it a step further by creating guides and user manuals to walk clients step by step through a problem asynchronously.

If you have the bandwidth, consider starting a newsletter for your different client segments catered to their specific interests. Not only does this build your authority by demonstrating subject matter expertise—it’s also a great way to deliver insights at scale.

06. Expand your toolkit

It stands to reason that the best tools can help you provide the best services. That includes:

  • A robust CRM system to track and utilize client data to personalize your services, 

  • Automation tools to streamline communication and collaboration where possible, 

  • Collaborative design tools

  • Analytics and reporting tools for data-driven decision-making and performance metrics you can supply your clients in your progress reports.


As we look towards the future of these tools, you should also consider how to integrate AI into your tech stack. Check out the seven best AI web design tools that we recommend every agency to use. 

07. Never stop learning about your clients’ needs 

The reality is that clients’ needs change over time, so your services should aim to parallel these changes. Perhaps your clients are in need of a greater social media presence (which is a good time to upsell clients on new services). Or maybe they’re seeking a strong SEO strategy to drive traffic to their websites..

Whatever their needs are, continue to evolve your services based on your growing understanding of your clients. Get to know your clients better through weekly calls, surveys, behavioral data, events and community-building. Client feedback sessions are another excellent way to understand your client’s preferences.

In the grand scheme of things, keeping clients happy isn’t a one-and-done ordeal. Strong client relationship management is an ongoing process, so commit to growing together so you don’t grow apart.

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How to choose the right client management tools 

Automation, driven by AI, is revolutionizing client management practices by streamlining routine tasks, enhancing efficiency and ensuring consistency in service delivery. In other words, it’s helping agencies care for clients individually, at scale.

Moreover, the right tools can help agencies save time so you can put routine work on autopilot with agency automation. That includes sales pipelines, team workflows, email marketing, and customer segmentation. And if you’re using Wix Studio, you can cut down on client back-and-forth with handover tools like:

  • Client Kit (which allows you to add guides and tutorials to a client’s dashboard), 

  • Automated reports (insights emailed directly to your clients on a monthly basis) and 

  • Content mode (allows clients to upload/change content without changing the website’s design).

  • Don’t forget how Wix Studio’s AI capabilities will change the way you work, either.

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10 core principles of client management

There are 10 essential principles every agency should foster to maintain strong client relationships. Though the practice of client management is ever-evolving, these principles are timeless values your agencies should uphold as you grow:

  1. Communication: Maintain open and clear channels with clients to discuss their needs and expectations.

  2. Understanding: Take the time to understand your client's business, industry and specific requirements to provide tailored solutions.

  3. Responsiveness: Be prompt and proactive in addressing client inquiries, concerns and requests.

  4. Trust: Build it through transparency, honesty and reliability in your interactions and deliverables.

  5. Relationship-building: Focus on fostering long-term relationships by providing value, offering exceptional service and consistently exceeding client expectations.

  6. Collaboration: Work closely with clients as partners, involving them in decision-making processes and seeking their input throughout projects.

  7. Adaptability: Be flexible and adaptable to changes in client needs, market conditions and project requirements.

  8. Accountability: Take ownership of your actions and commitments, delivering results on time and to the agreed-upon standards.

  9. Continuous improvement: Strive for excellence by seeking feedback, learning from experiences and continuously improving processes and services.

  10. Ethical conduct: Uphold ethical standards in all interactions with clients, respecting confidentiality, privacy and professional boundaries.

The future of client management 

Moving forward, personalization will be the key to make clients feel more valued. The agencies that do this at scale will differentiate themselves best (since it’s typically harder to offer the same degree of personalization as a larger business entity). See how AI is inspiring personalization

This shift toward greater customization enables agencies to tailor their offerings precisely to individual client needs and preferences, fostering stronger and more loyal relationships. Predictive analytics will empower agencies to anticipate client needs by making sense of trends in behavioral data to drive proactive decision-making and deliver even greater value in the client-agency relationship.


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