Client Service and Why it Matters
One of the most powerful parts of my job is the responsibility of maintaining and developing strong communication and relationships for great client service. It is an integral part of the job that needs to be carried out in some degree by everyone at the shop – but especially by creative leadership. Client service is really an art form that needs to be practiced every day -- and like most things in life, the more you do it the better you get at it. I often think there is a myth in our business that Client service is all about:
- Brown nosing
- Kissing up
- Too complicated
- Someone else’s job
- Not important because the creative is great!
- Not important because this is a long standing client
- A myth from beyond
- Something suits do on the accounts side
But reality cannot be further from the truth.
Client service is all about listening and communicating. It’s about establishing goals and setting expectations, then hitting it out of the park as much as possible.
M.A.Y.A. Most Advanced Yet Acceptable. Raymond Loewy’s idea that I think works for a bunch of stuff. MAYA is the golden zone that all great creative lives in. It’s advanced in concept for maximum impact yet acceptable to the client/public for maximum results. Pure balance. And that’s the nirvana direction you can head in together.
When there is a commonality between the client’s request and your execution, it blossoms into a relationship that can transcend any bumps in the road. And there will be plenty of bumps in the road.
The client/agency relationship is sometimes like a marriage. Most of the time everything works out just fine. But occasionally there is a bump in the road. The pile of dishes in the sink that didn’t bother you so much in the first year of marriage now drives you nuts! Perhaps even you are wondering if you should stay married as the thrill of the new and exciting sometimes blinds your dedication. At the end of the day, life is short and I find that people want to work with people they like. Don’t forget that the client chose you and they are vulnerable. It takes a lot of guts to pick a shop and stick with them.
This is where the power of clear and concise communication comes in. There are many solutions for different problems. That is why the relationship triumphs any adversity.
At the end of the day, I just want to create amazing work that everyone is happy with. The public, the client and our shop. You are a willing partner to help clients achieve their goals -- and that is a valuable, scary, coveted, risky, auspicious, precious and ultimately very rewarding position to be in.
Nir Bashan is an executive creative director with over 16 years of advertising, entertainment and business development experience. He writes on topics covering advertising, media, creative solutions and workforce management. http://www.nirbashan.com/blog | firstname.lastname@example.org