Client service is not client work. And if you think they’re interchangeable or the same thing, we disagree with you (politely).

To demonstrate the point, let’s use a hospitality analogy.

Imagine you attend two like-for-like restaurants (lucky you!) in a day.

You order the same meal at both places, and they are both pretty similar. In this analogy, the meals are the “output”. So in an agency environment, the “meal” is the “work”.

So how do you differentiate between the output and the service? Well, in a hospitality setting, it’s often obvious. For example:

  • There’s a lot of enthusiasm and smiles (we all like that).
  • Care and thoughtfulness is attached to each individual. Because everyone is different.
  • An understated rhythm of activity underpins the experience to help customers relax, so they don’t want for anything.
  • Quality is thought through to meticulous and lovely bits of detail.
  • The customer is always communicated with in a way they understand.

We think that’s the way the agency world needs to think about “service”. Especially as we move forward after such a trying time for us all. We have all experienced new ways of connecting with people to keep remote working alive.

But if a “head of client service” at [insert agency name here] is just doing “client work”, then they have a problem.

A client service team needs a hard and fast pledge for how they intend to provide the best ever Michelin star level of agency service to their partners. They need:

  • A way of measuring how things are going
  • An onboarding process that keeps things smooth and steady as people get to know each other
  • A communication ethos that sits at the heart of everything
  • A unique approach to collaboration

The extra touches along the way

Think of it this way: how does that restaurant visit leave you feeling? Not just replete in appetite terms, but inspired for having had such a memorable experience of which food was just a part. The outcome is that it lifted your mood and not just satiated your appetite.

In agency land, the work is important, but NEVER forget about the way it’s delivered. Otherwise you fall into the trap of being like everyone else.

Grace Keeling , Co-founder & Comms Growth Partner at Made by Giants