We’ve seen it hundreds of times in our favourite rom-coms, the couple is at the altar and the story ends once they say, “I do.” If only that’s how it worked in real life or better yet – client service. Once you get the guy or girl – or in this case, the big client you’ve always wanted – that’s when the real work begins.
Ironically enough, there’s a little bit of overlap between business relationships and any long-term relationship between any two people. This blog will delve into some of the principles we, an ad agency, use to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with all our clients. Let’s get into it.
Keep Detailed Records of Your Conversations
Whenever you talk to a client, come to every single conversation with “receipts”. When you have a detailed record of everything that has been discussed, you won’t just exude professionalism and preparedness; you’ll interact with your clients from a position of power.
When client service professionals know their facts, they can accurately anticipate clients’ future needs and they can quickly diffuse instances when a client feels like their feedback is being ignored.
In addition, once you’ve amassed a big enough record of your conversations, you’ll get deeper insights into who your clients really are. It’s kind of like getting a better understanding of someone after you’ve had a ton of conversations with them.
Be a Swiss Army Knife
Swiss army knives are the embodiment of versatility. They come with several different blades and a bunch of other tools like corkscrews and scissors. In many ways, client service demands its practitioners to show that same versatility. In an interview with Emem Tunde-Aribido, Anakle’s own client service executive, she said that any client service professional must be ready to “wear a lot of hats”.
She also remarked that multitasking is one of her fortés – in her own humorous way of course. “You know that one Spongebob meme where he’s doing everything at once, and he’s got 4 arms and two extra legs? That’s me.”
In any business relationship, there are a multitude of problems that can arise. To resolve these problems quickly, the ideal client service professional must be a jack of all trades. “You’ll make tweaks to ad copy, you’ll chime in at strategy meetings and you’ll even get an eye for design,” Emem says.
Make Big Promises But Don’t Oversell
Contrary to the popular belief that client service people should undersell and overdeliver, Emem says that she leans into the clients’ wildest dreams – within reason, of course – and works her tail off to make them a reality.
When we asked her how she manages those same clients’ expectations, she said, “Logistical problems often get in the way of clients getting EVERYTHING they want.” When that’s the case, she informs the client and quickly devises a compromise. However, when there aren’t any problems, she goes above and beyond the call of duty to make clients’ requests come true. You don’t have to be a yes-man but you will need to have a “can-do” attitude.
Be a Maximizer
One of client services’ biggest demands is having exemplary people skills, and that doesn’t stop at being a clear communicator. A great client service professional knows how to get the most out of those around them. They’re an agency’s “glue guys”- in other words, they bring the whole team together.
Client service professionals get the most out of their team members, even in the face of tight deadlines, heavy workloads and office politics. In a sense, you could say that the ideal client service executive excels at managing both their internal and external publics. They know whose buttons to push, how to do so and when to do so. To quote Emem, “You’ve got to be a strong collaborator.”
Client service may be very demanding work. However, happy clients are worth every penny. They spread the good news online and through word of mouth. In addition, they’re great for your bottom line.
According to itcan, retaining our clients is 400% more cost-effective than acquiring potential clients. If that wasn’t good enough, increasing your client retention by as little as 5% can increase your profits anywhere from 25-95%.
If you’re looking for an agency that values lasting working relationships with its clients, look no further than us. We’d love to get in touch with you.