I remember being a youthful, naïve 20-something just starting out in the chaotic communications industry. All starry eyed with the idea of being in Client Service in an agency.
It’s a role which I was told was all about being a strategist, being a leader and being the primary relationship-builder. Those are things I thought I was good at, could achieve at.
My more experienced 30-something eyes still see strategy, leadership and relationships as the fundamental cornerstones of Client Service within any agency environment. But my years in the Client Service role have taught me that it’s the basic 101 stuff which is the foundation. If the basics are not solid, the whole building falls down - in quite spectacular fashion.
So what’s the 101 stuff? The thing is: Client Service is about Customer Service. The same rules apply whether you are an Account Manager in an agency or a waiter working at a restaurant. We are all in the service industry.
And being in the service industry is about making customers happy.
What do I want from my waiter? I want him to recommend some specials, perhaps advise me on a good wine choice if we are in that kind of restaurant and then I want him to get my order right. I want my order to get to my table in a timely fashion, I want the food to be what I asked for and I want it to taste good. And I want the bill to cover what I ordered with no sneaky additions.
What do clients want from their agency? Same thing. They want us to take their brief, deliver in a manner which can be judged as successful and they want to be pleased by the results. And they want their bill to not have any sneaky additions.
Customer service is about listening and responding. That’s basically about it. You listen, you acknowledge and you respond.
You get that 101 down and then you throw in the excellent strategy, the leadership and the warm and fuzzies. We listen and provide expert advice on the best way to go about delivering. We respond with great creative and smart content. And we deliver measurable results.
Good client service = a happy client.