At a recent agency event, I was talking with one of our partners (not one I normally have contact with) about 88. When this person asked what my role was at 88, I responded, “I’m an Account Supervisor. I work in the account management and client service department.” Immediately, the client partner responded, “Before working with 88, I never understood the value of working with/through an Account Manager. I’ve always worked directly with the designer, etc. But I’ve got to say, having one point of contact was fantastic and ultimately made everything a lot simpler.”
That got me thinking, how many other clients had never worked with an Account Service individual before? Do they know what I do? Before any onboarding even takes place, here is what I would tell those clients:
- Our agency functions as a team, and as Robert Solomon says in his book The Art of Client Service, “We are smarter together than when we are alone.” We each have different roles and functions, but we follow a collaborative process and all parties’ contributions are important to the whole. That is the benefit of working with an agency—you have access to designers, writers, strategists, project managers, accountants, etc.
- Think of my role as twofold. While I am first and foremost a member of my agency team, I am also acting upon your behalf inside the agency. I am your eyes and ears, and it is my job to make sure your concerns are heard directly and not lost in translation. That is my priority. I remind the creative team to step into your shoes when reviewing feedback, and that there are always two sides to the story.
- Everything goes through me. You don’t have to worry about forgetting to send something to the right person at the agency, just make sure it gets sent to me and I will do the rest.
- If you tell me what the problem is and why it is a problem… I can help fix it. You don’t always need to have all of the answers, but if you give us specifics, we can help solve it, quickly.
- I wear many hats: I’m a project manager; I’m a specialist in crisis management; I’m organized; I’m a details person; I take good notes; I’m analytical; I can crunch numbers; I can solve problems; if I don’t know the answer, I find someone who can; I can prioritize; I put out fires; I look at the big picture; I’m a people person; I genuinely like getting to know you personally; and I’m usually in charge of ordering food and snacks for meetings, so tell me your favorite things!
To quote Robert Solomon again, in the end, “Great relationships lead to great work.” When you are comfortable with trusting your account person and agency, we want to deliver great work. When we love working with you, we love working on your business. It’s as simple as that. With a relationship, we build trust, which leads to great work, which keeps the relationship healthy.
So if you haven’t worked with an Account Service person before, don’t be scared! We are here to help. In fact, we hope to make your job easier. So embrace us with arms wide open. We work in a service industry, after all, so we are here to serve!