It’s that time again, ‘validate your role day’ – cue spotlight! As Client Services Director, consider this a tickle at the topline…
Over the past year, Boutique has been deploying a client services team which will ensure we’re delivering value beyond implementation. As an agency in fast growth it’s all too easy to churn out the basics without thought beyond the immediate box ticking.
We Are Boutique is a service provider; we’re selling what others create (excluding PR which is a different kettle of creative kippers!). We have limited influence on the product existence which means that agencies are flogging a very similar sell. The variation comes in the added value that agencies wrap the assets in and we’ve seen this become mandatory rather than price being the sole pleaser. Service is one of the ways to differentiate agency brands…
Some Essential Practice
– Ensure that we have multi-lead relationships. Do we hold positive relationships at all layers of the account? It’s crucial to empower the executives to build relationships with their opposite numbers client side as much as the senior squad at the top.
– We should play client advocate in the agency. Always pre-empt what the client’s response will be and nip any grey areas in the bud.
– Clients are like snowflakes: unpredictable, unique (and sometimes frosty!) which means bespoke attention and the ability to wear multiple hats.
– Question if we’re reducing client pressures. We encourage our contacts to open up about the challenges in their own role so we can make steps to support them and ease any internal peeve!
– Always think beyond our remit and individual roles. Offer opinions on creative, other brands, market insights, agency trends, industry shifts.
Snippets for Survival
– Lead, don’t manage meetings
– If things go awry, be swift, be honest and be sorry
– Be a chameleon, but don’t compromise your character
– Dignity before debauchery at social events
– Be concise, be creative and be gone
– Be a bag carrier but have an opinion
– ‘No’ is absent from your vocabulary
– Relationships aren’t developed at your desk.
The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them!