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The Evolution of Client Servicing

From Engagement & Management to Strategy Consultant

Have you met Jack?

Confused?
Well, he’s the one who they say is familiar with all trades (Does Jack of all Trades ring a bell?).
Well, Jack of all Trades is a great way to describe the client servicing role in a marketing agency, but they also come with an added mastery in strategy which is a rather dynamic skill that keeps evolving with experience!

Let’s Talk History

In times before, the customer service role was looked upon as that of a postman (pardon the layman sentiment), acting as a bridge between brands and the agency.

However, as times have changed, there have been dramatic advancements not just in Digital but all aspects of life – so much so that this description no longer does the role justice. If we still needed a human to pass messages today, it would lead to an existential crisis for all digital communication mediums.

As the industry gets more complex, so do the jobs of the ones in charge of managing those complexities.

The Need

Now think about it - how much has the industry changed and how many changes are modifying the digital landscape even as you read this. The role of being a client servicing partner too has had to evolve to keep pace with the dynamic industry. It calls for an evolution, a paradigm shift where client-agency relationships make way for an ecosystem of partnerships.

Today, brands want to see a reflection of themselves in their partner agency and the agency needs a representative who knows the business and knows the technology. There is no longer “them” and “you” – it is all “us”, treating the relationship as a privilege – not a transaction.

So, What Exactly Does It Take to be the “One”?

The Mindset

It is important to be prepared. Understand the brand, how it works and what its end goals are. Have a clear vision; ensure no deviations from business goals. Apart from this, personal growth is also important – the journey of growth hinges on continuous learning and staying up to date. That is how you can deliver value to your client, or shall we say ‘partners’.

Interpersonal Skills

This one is all about maintaining that delicate balance. One must be professional without being arrogant; it is essential to earn your client(partner’s) trust before synergies come together. Understand everyone you work with, ensure clear communications, and keep everyone updated.

Navigating the Role

Accountability is important

The Client Servicing role is that of a solutions provider – brands understand their business best, and you do yours – don’t bow down to unreasonable demands; instead, come up with practical solutions that are acceptable to both sides.

Facilitate involvement of all stakeholders

And remember – it should not be viewed as a one-time transaction; it is a lifelong partnership. Marketing is no longer about providing a service but about comprehensive solutions where insights are the foundation.

Most importantly – there’s nothing better than offering personalised solutions that focus on the ‘end consumer’ to deliver value for money.

Commitments

Commitments are core but overcommitment is folly – never set up unrealistic expectations. This involves understanding what you are committing. Unless you understand what goes into execution, commitments will remain a challenge. Hence, it is important to be respectful and equally important to stand your ground and negotiate. Such discussions may not be easy but cannot be avoided – be prepared with facts to support your ideas. Saying ‘Yes’ to everything may get you the business but sustaining the same is a whole different ball game, an arduous one at that. Holistically, long-term relationships are not built on a blind “Yes” but by arriving together at a “Yes”.

That being said – always respect timelines. Delays happen – that’s part and parcel of the industry. Instead of tussling and settling for subpar solutions – accept them. Also, make sure that the information is conveyed in a timely manner to all the stakeholders concerned.

Agility

Now, more than ever, being agile is crucial for success. Narrow the gap between insight, action, impact, and adaptation; stay on top of evolving customer and stakeholder needs to fuel business transformation! If you do not have a solution to offer at the moment, do not be afraid to be innovative and creative – find and create one.

You are NOT a One-Man-Army

You represent an organisation fuelled by several functional teams that together drives your success. You are a part of that melting pot. Go through all thick and thin together, share accountability where it is due, and ensure all are informed about the progress.

There is no limit to what the Client Servicing role can accomplish, but here’s a tip to get you started!

In an industry that is constantly changing – a static approach won’t work. Be open to change, have contingency plans in place before you begin, take calculated risks, review constantly, improve, and don’t let conventions limit you.

Be Agile and Aim for Solutions.

With Us by Your Side, achieving your marketing goals becomes a passionate and collective endeavour. Let’s connect over coffee to kick it off!

And, for the ones who find their fit in the role – Good news! We are Hiring!

Richa Mehra

Richa brings over 15+ years of experience in Digital marketing, analytics, consulting, and client management roles across diversified domains. Her strength lies in understanding businesses and driving strategies for business success. Her command in relationship building helps her to retain and manage a large set of key clienteles in AGL.

Richa brings over 15+ years of experience in Digital marketing, analytics, consulting, and client management roles across diversified domains. Her strength lies in understanding businesses and driving strategies for business success. Her command in relationship building helps her to retain and manage a large set of key clienteles in AGL.

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