5 Client-Service Strategies to Live By

Written February 10, 2017 by Jenny McCorkle

Robert Solomon’s book “The Art of Client Services” permeates and exposes the vital responsibility of client-facing roles within an agency. As representatives of both the client and the creative, it is imperative that account managers be accountable, solutions-focused, involved, prepared, and connected. Here are our top 5 takeaways, outlined by Solomon, for effective and long-term client engagement:

  1. Recognize and own that as an account manager it is expected that you “take all of the blame and none of the credit;” maneuvering between both the creative and the client ego is a delicate balance with unfavorably stacked odds. Be prepared to absorb the pitfalls of both parties, and check your pride at the door.
  2. Every rule has an exception, and every exception has an exception. Much of account management is navigating the intricacies of a situation to discover the, sometimes unexpected, solution. Be prepared to think creatively and flex your deductive reasoning skills.
  3. Remain a steadfast and contributing factor within the creative process. Account management identifiers are often reduced to timeline tracker and budget chaser; however, account managers are the information gatekeepers and the strategic checkpoints for creative. Be prepared to be an involved and active participant.
  4. Standby the strategy of the creative, even if it means disagreeing with the client. The creative is the visual depiction of the goals set forth, and, often, those goals require a pivot in legacy perspectives. Be prepared to be a strategic thought-leader to help guide the client through the, occasionally, uncomfortable creative process.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Establishing a baseline of open and consistent client engagement is the scaffolding of a trusting and safe communication space. Trust is the number one barrier between a decent and exceptional client/agency relationship. And, as an extension of the client to the creative, it is essential that you represent the client authentically. Be prepared to over communicate and engage with the client in an in-person capacity.

Lather, rinse, repeat.