PR pros: How to offer the next generation of client service
If you’re in the public relations/marketing/advertising industry, chances are you’re familiar with the “Mad Men-style” of client service. Account people have long been the gatekeepers between the client and the agency, and it’s a job associated with weekly status meetings and the occasional lunch outing.
But times – and expectations – have changed. I came across an article in The Agency Post this morning that challenges the traditional idea of account service.
My favorite line from the post is, “It’s no longer just about the project at hand or the line items on our status reports. It’s about integrating into our client’s way of doing business, becoming part of their routine and adding value beyond our individual roles.”
Clients are simple too busy to read trade media, industry reports and whitepapers. That’s where an account manager can step in to witness, filter and educate clients on news that can make their business more effective. We have to be more than account people; it’s up to us to be the client’s go-to person for the latest tools and trends in their industry that they didn’t even know they were looking for.
We must also adapt our ways of communicating this information to meet the needs of our partners. Do your clients prefer email communication, phone calls, text messages – or all of the above? Use their preferred method of communicating (not your own) to offer them valuable content.
It’s still vitally important for us to produce great work and develop trustworthy relationships with our partners. But if we can go above and beyond the traditional roles of client service, we can become one of their most important contacts and an integral part of their business.