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Client Service… Who Cares?

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][text_output]In a digital world becoming more automated by the day, some of you might argue that client service is becoming less important. We, Croud, on the other hand, believe otherwise – which is handy, or I’d be out of a job.

We all know how powerful technology is; making data driven decisions faster than we can say “data driven decisions”, let alone analyse said data and conduct manual implementation. But how far does tech go? Where do we draw the line between machines and the good old-fashioned human touch?

The truth is, technology can’t do everything – yes, it can create efficiencies, manage workflow, make much smarter decisions than most of us – but it can’t actively listen to a client’s needs or understand their sometimes complex objectives. It can’t client service.

Consider this example…

A chemistry teacher discovers he is terminally ill. His immediate objective is to earn as much money as possible to provide for his family and secure their future. He thinks through his options and is faced with a decision; does he a) make the most of the time he has left with his family, do his best to pull together as much money as possible – perhaps he takes an offer of money from friends, works a second job while he’s still able – knowing that his family, while potentially having to make a few sacrifices, will be financially ok? Or, does he b) turn to a life of crime, producing crystal meth to earn himself an absolute fortune, guaranteeing his family will be set for life.

Let’s say he plugs this into a technology platform – given his primary objective, it’ll go for option b. It’s obvious – his goal is to make more money – option b is the clear winner. The trouble is, it is oblivious to other, very important factors.

Had he ditched the technology and thought this through strategically, considering all the potential outcomes – perhaps sought advice from someone (sensible, as opposed to a bent lawyer), who could actively listen to his situation, provide an opinion based on his/her own experiences/knowledge, and help him weigh up the pros and cons, he could have avoided some serious consequences.[/text_output][text_output]While option b earned him an insane amount of money in the short term and undoubtedly made life more exciting (as well as providing much entertainment to millions of viewers), he and his family ended up with nothing – actually less than nothing – which technology alone could not possibly have foreseen.

Fortunately, when it comes to digital media, day-to-day client decisions tend to be less extreme – but clients need advice, they need to be both reassured and challenged, offered strategic direction, someone to decode the jargon tech brings to the table – after all, they pay their agency to make the right decisions for them and should be able to trust them to do so.

I asked a (mini!) panel* of clients what good client service means to them. While each answer was unique there were some clear themes – aside from lunches and drinking sessions – clients want their agency to understand their business, live and breathe their brand, be a collaborative partner, demonstrate enthusiasm for what they are trying to do, solve tricky problems but have the gravitas to say no when something is not in the best interest of their business. They want their objectives to be heard and understood AND they need to be confident in their agency’s commitment and ability to achieve them.

The more heavily we rely solely on technology to do our jobs for us, the more we risk losing sight of what we’re working towards.

So, who cares about client service? We care. Clients care. Actually, I would argue that client service is now more important than ever.

Right, I’m off to watch Better Call Saul on Netflix. Not sure whether you’ve heard of it…

 

*Not statistically significant by any stretch

 

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