There is a specific height of importance to the jobs we do everyday. As the client service team, we hold ourselves to the highest regard; pleasing clients that sometimes may be incapable of feeling satisfied. A happy client is a paying client, and if your actions (or lack thereof) remove this glee from the equation, you might as well sign your own pink slip.
So how do we do it? Aha! – A golden question that we at DBS are delighted to answer. We do it by living, speaking, and breathing A.C.D. And no, we did not leave off the last C. We pride ourselves on being Accessible, Communicating, and Documenting everything. A.C.D.
A. Be Accessible.
As an Account Executive, accessibility holds extreme importance to our clients. Before we land a client, we initially hand out business cards. Boom – we become instantly accessible. It is important for a client or a potential client to understand that you can be reached when they are in need.
An important component of being accessible is dependability. If you are not readily available to clients, they will be unable to depend on you, and eventually they won’t want to work with you. Whether your client emailed you, Skyped you or left a message on your phone, it is always a good idea to return their message within two hours.
Being accessible now could possibly save you later. For example, say you miss a deadline. Clients are more likely to be lenient about your oops if they have been in constant contact you with throughout the project and they know you care. (ON a side note – DON’T EVER MISS DEADLINES!)
C. Communicate effectively. COMM-UN-I-CATE.
Engage in conversation with your clients. We are all guilty of multi-tasking when we are on a call. Maybe we’re writing down tomorrow’s to-dos, or revising design work, but we do it. DON’T! Multi-tasking is a great skill, but not when interacting with a client. Instead, listen, learn, comprehend and respond. If you are not 100% there, they will sense it.
It is also important to get to know your client on a personal level. Perhaps they aren’t as chipper as they normally are; they may tell you their daughter has stomach flu. Be sure to follow up on their daughter’s illness. ALL business, is not always a good thing.
Be an active listener to your clients. Really, listen. In order to be proactive for your clients, you must know exactly what they want, their needs, and how you can make them successful.
Make sure you ask questions. You will never really know and understand your clients if you don’t ask. Be the expert for your clients. Get to know their industry. As Account Executives, we may have clients that deal in food preparation, medical issues or logistics. We must be able to talk intelligently about their product or service.
Communication must go a step further as a client service team. We must be able to spread our clients’ wants and needs on to our creative people. Relay the hardcore information while still allowing creative juices to flow within the production team.
D. Document everything.
There’s a plethora of ways to execute complete documentation methods in business. Some forms include email, note-taking, software programs and saving your dated notes in folders/binders with all your client collateral will keep you organized.
Never rely on memorization. This can unfortunately backlash on you, leaving you spiraling out of control. Too many fires happen in the day of the Account Executive for you to remember a forty-five second conversation with a client. Carry a notepad with you at all times!
Document alongside the process of every project. You will have notes that will allow you to understand what was happening during the development of that specific project, client’s thoughts, and other details that you may forget later.
So A.C.D.Accessibility, Communicating and Documenting. All important attributes that act as glue to bond with our clients and make them successful, which in turn, makes our company successful.