The One Thing You Need to Know About Client Service
I was lucky enough to be studying advertising at the peak of the “Mad Men” craze.
And while Mad Men portrays advertising as this glitzy, alcohol-fueled creative lab, this is a rarity in the life of advertising.
Of course, there are a few truths about the show. There is alcohol in the office, people do spend insane hours to get campaigns done, and magic truly does happen in the form of incredible work.
But the truth is, besides a few unusual perks such as there always being food in the office or ping pong tables in the common area, advertising is a lot like many other industries.
Recently I took the time to read The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon. It was a book that has been in my queue for a long time but only recently did I find the time to read it.
Reading this book reinvigorated my interest and reminded me of why I wanted to go into client service in the first place. While there are chapters on hard skills, such as how to write a brief and ways to overcome budget issues, at the heart of it all was a very soft skill.
This industry is all about relationships.
At the heart of client service is the skill of building, nurturing and maintaining relationships.
In an industry as competitive as advertising, good work is no longer enough. Anyone can create great work, but it’s how you make the client (and their customers) feel that matters.
This is a profession all about balancing both agency and client, not only making the agency look good to the client, but selling the agency to the client.
A great account manager will not just execute what the client requests, but will build trust with the client so that the agency and client can work as partners.
Everyone brings something to the table, and if you don’t have the client’s trust, they will never be willing to push the limits.
That being said, while it may be a very delicately balanced and stress-prone profession, it is exactly those relationships that make this industry so satisfying.
When you can find the right way to marry client and agency, real magic can happen. Boundaries will be pushed, late nights will happen, but that moment when it comes together and there’s that “aha” moment… there’s nothing quite like it.
So if you are thinking about advertising, agency life or working in client service, be prepared for all that it comes with.
The late nights will be met with campaigns that matter, the stress will be met with the camaraderie of your coworkers, the arguments will lead to a bond unlike many others.
But at the end of the day, it’s all worth it.
Minneapolis-based Macleod & Co. is the Holistic Marketing Agency ™. We believe that in a hyper-social world, culture drives success, every employee is a customer touch point, and every customer is a broadcast network. We live at the intersection of marketing and organizational effectiveness. And we see marketing as the entire process of bringing a product, service or business from inception to maximum ongoing profitability.