[Article from the @SIMONPLENT archive:]
It doesn’t do any of us any harm to be reminded of some of the basic principles of what we do from time to time.
That’s why I’d like to thank Rebecca from PTC for reminding me and my fellow seminar attendees how important it is to think about how your client is really responding to what you’re offering, doing or saying.
After all, how often have agencies been perplexed when a client takes their business elsewhere and then discovered it was simply because the agency hadn’t paid attention to the most basic aspects of client service? Namely, making sure your client is always:
Sounds easy. But how often we forget this simple stuff when we’re so busy trying to sell them our latest genius headline!
Do we genuinely understand them? Have we really listened to their needs—and that means emotional as well as business, don’t forget. Have we paid attention to their body language? Have we probed and prodded to make sure they’re really saying what they mean?
I know that when I was a client I would find it utterly infuriating when the agency account director was clearly not listening to what anyone was saying and, in the whole time the relationship continued, he never really bothered to find out what it was the company really did—how The Reader’s Digest business model really worked. Basic stuff, one would have thought?
Do we really value them? Do we constantly remind ourselves that without the client we’d have no business and be out of job? Do we think of them as a customer to be served or an annoyance to be dealt with?
And do we reassure them enough? Do we carefully, painstakingly explain what we’re proposing to do for them?
Clients are often a little scared of creative work and creative types—they’re sometimes out of their comfort zone, don’t speak the latest jargon and feel excluded. We must make sure they feel included, their opinions listened to and respected, their fears, worries and concerns are teased out at the earliest opportunity.
We must make sure they’re buying our services with confidence and understanding, not simply responding to a hard sell and worrying about it later.