Turning Anal Retention into Client Retention
Turning Anal Retention into Client Retention

By on in Strategy

Turning Anal Retention into Client Retention

Growing up, many of us relied on our memories alone to get through school, passing tests and getting work done on time. I know I did. It was all fairly straightforward and simple.

Everything changed in college. Getting a computer science degree wasn’t easy and, given my less-than-organized habits, I started off poorly. Fortunately, I realized early that my memory alone wouldn’t get me through. Taking notes, naturally, made all the difference. Over time, it became a system, and that’s where the real differences became clear. I was a lifetime convert to the value of organization and tracking even the finest details.


Differentiating on the Small Stuff

When we launched FATFREE, we wanted to be known as a team that sweated the details and was always organized. It just made sense—would a client prefer a partner who seems to be doing everything on the fly? Cluttered and disorganized? Or would they have more confidence in a team that consistently has things down pat? Easy answer.

The way I see it, being good at what we do is the price of entry. Clients come to us for rock-solid technical skills, strong strategic muscle, and great creative. But they stay with us and refer us to colleagues because we are incredibly buttoned up.

Over more than fifteen years in business, we’ve found that our detail-driven, hyperorganized approach means clients trust us more than most. In some cases, we’ve become a sort of historian—remembering why decisions were made or where to locate support documentation long after the client-side decisionmaker has forgotten or even left the company.

Our focus on the small stuff means our clients can relax a bit and turn their attention toward big-picture thinking. They have confidence that we’re doing our job, so they can do their own. When huge projects come through, such as our work for Roche Diabetes Care, in which there can be 30 or 40 distinct tasks running in parallel, it makes a difference.


It’s Never in the RFP, but It Matters

Everyone wants big, strategic thinking. And at FATFREE, we absolutely stay on the front of digital transformation trends and opportunities. But I believe that combining that with an equally strong focus on the tiniest-yet-important particulars is the reason we’ve succeeded through every climate the economy has thrown our way.

And it isn’t just an external focus. 99% of the time, we know our financial position down to the cent, so we can always make an informed decision about what’s best for the clients and for ourselves.

I can’t imagine running a successful business any other way. Inefficiency can easily snowball, leading to bad relationships, legal issues, or financial ruin. And the truth is, with all the great project management platforms available right now, it’s easier than ever to keep everyone on the same page. Of course, going back and reviewing everything we do against the initial input, strategy, and client comments takes a little time, but it’s easier than having to fix finished work (and relationships) later.