What to Look For in an Online Marketing Agency: Customer Service Part II

Earlier this week, we covered some questions you should ask an agency before you sign on the dotted line and today we wanted to delve into a few more questions you should have answered before you make a commitment:

What types of relationships does the agency hold with its most important vendors i.e. Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc.

Find out about the agency’s relationship with the top, second and third tier networks and ask if the agency will provide you with a reference of their contacts at any of the networks. It is also a good idea to find out if the agency you choose is owned by a network – will the agency benefit from putting your ads on a site that is not well suited towards your business?

What benefits does the agency have that an advertiser of your size can’t get by calling Google, Yahoo, AOL or other engines directly?

If complications arrive does the agency have the direct lines to a team that can quickly assist?

Are you able to review the work that has been done on your account? At our company we use various proprietary tools that interact with our customers accounts and in all cases our customers retain control of their accounts. Many customers have commented positively that they have learned much about search marketing through reviewing changes our team has made to their account.  In addition, our CEAM team will provide you with a report that also details the modification history on your account on a biweekly basis.

Can you log in to your account and view the work that is completed for you?

If you don’t understand a change that was made to your account – will someone explain to you in simple terms the implications of each change?

What happens to the work done on your account when you stop working together? There are many reasons why you may need or want to stop working with an agency, and in most of these cases you would still want to access your account and all of the work you have paid for.

Find out from the company what happens to the work created within your account and if any part of the account is used for other clients they may work with presently or in the future. 

If the company is vertically focused – Will your competition benefit from the lessons learned (and paid for) by your account?

Are you tied down by a contract?

What happens if something happens that changes your businesses marketing strategy?

What if performance isn’t what you thought it would be?

There are some companies that will bait you in for a 12 or even 24 month contract and 2 months into the contract; your business will find that you were just fed lines to get you in the door.  What recourse do you have to get out of the contract and how much will it cost?  Our company has a contract option, but the majority of our customers choose our no-contract option that ensures that if you don’t see the performance on your account that you desire – you can end with no penalties.