Outstanding Client Service: A Key Skill, Rarely Taught in The Classroom

John Dangles
Many young professionals about to enter the agency world have basic experience in developing PR/advertising campaigns, using social media tools, and writing at a high level. The key experience often missing is the ability to deliver outstanding client service.

What it takes to deliver outstanding client service is rarely discussed in college classrooms and often takes time to develop. Fortunately, I am here to help.

Here are some are some tips from my first year in the agency world, which should help young professionals deliver outstanding service to their clients.

1.      Understand your clients’ business: Learn business principles in order to fully understand how your clients make their money. Make sure you go the extra mile and immerse yourself in the clients’ world. Be as passionate about their business as they are.

 2.     Connect the dots: Since clients are often incredibly focused on their business, they seek an outside perspective. Pay attention to industry as well as social trends (pop culture, music, sports, etc.). Don’t just share an interesting observation; make sure to outline the agency’s recommended actionable steps for the client

 3.     Be available 24/7: In today’s world, business has no clock. 9-5, no longer exists, as businesses are now constantly connected with consumers and those ready to leverage opportunities, will be the ones to rise to the top. As an agency, if something is going on that involves your client’s business, you better be available.

4.     Stay a step ahead: Clients are busy people, typically running from one meeting to the next. As an agency, you must make sure you are staying a step ahead of your client.

5.     Be bold: Differentiate yourself with ideas that are big and may be uncomfortable at times. It is also important to not be a “yes man” agency. Beneficial client/agency relationships allow for the agency to challenge internal thinking and push for the ideas it believes in.

6.     Get up the food chain: Try to expose yourself to the C-suite as much as possible and get them to understand the value you bring. Of course, the higher up you up go, the more risk you take on, but you are also more likely to become a trusted long-term adviser.

 7.     Work well with others: In today’s world, it is rare for marketing communications not to be integrated, often involving multiple agencies from multiple holding companies. Clients will want to develop long-term relationships with the agencies that collaborate well with others. Remember, you are most likely only a part of your client’s overall team.

8.    Be efficient: Make sure your cost conscious and show ROI from measurable objectives.

 9.     Keep it simple: Make life easier for your clients. Do not send over-complicating information, you must simplify when appropriate. In addition, don’t overwhelm your clients by sending them more than they want or need.

John Dangles is an Account Coordinator at Ketchum, specializing in social media and digital marketing. He holds a B.S. in Journalism/Advertising and is currently earning a M.A. in Public Relations and Advertising at DePaul University.

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