Top 5 Client Service Rules

There seems to be tons of different blogs and articles written about marketing and advertising news — everything from current events to new technologies to case studies on how brands and companies are utilizing various mediums to accomplish their goals. I’ve decided to take a different angle with this blog and talk about a book on my bookshelf that never accumulates dust. It’s The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon. In it, Solomon details 58 things (or laws) that every marketing and advertising professional should know. For any person who has a client, this book is a mandatory must-read. Instead of listing all 58 laws in this blog, I’ve decided to highlight my “top 5” laws that I live and breathe everyday with my clients. Enjoy the list:

  1. Define success with the client.
    Just like setting your own personal goals to accomplish, defining what success is to your client is an integral part of reaching it. Understanding what, specifically, your client is hoping to accomplish — both personally and for the company — is an integral part of the process that requires, at times, a balancing act. Always define — exactly — what you are striving to accomplish.
  2. Understand clients' terminology and speak their language.
    We get paid to be experts — plain and simple. If your car breaks, you go to a mechanic because he/she is an expert in cars. Same thing in business. Once an agency wins a piece of business, it is imperative that the agency take a “factory tour” of the client’s business and totally immerse themselves to understanding the needs of the business. With that comes speaking the client's terminology. This not only creates better work, but it also better aligns you with the client.
  3. The more informal I want it, the more practice I must do.
    We’ve all seen presentations where the speaker would walk up to the stage and effortlessly present material with such ease and confidence, looking so relaxed, that he/she could have been in a living room doing it. Want to achieve that level of professionalism? Practice. Marketing executives are known for changing out slides of presentations moments before they speak. How can you master your talking points by changing out information just before you speak? My recommendation: Practice it 19 times. That’s right — 19 times and you know it cold, where you can do it in your sleep.  When you get there — it looks effortless.
  4. Great work wins business; great relationships keep it.
    Not much more to say on this one. There have been some show-stopper creative campaigns introduced to the marketplace over the years. More times than not, the agencies and their clients do a shuffle every so often. Cultivate relationships — provide great work and provide great service. Keep up the relationship as you would with a close family member.
  5. In a high-tech world, be low tech.
    I’m the first one to play with my Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, etc. They are fun to play with and make life easier. Find out how your client likes to communicate and do that. I’m a HUGE fan of in-person meetings and lunches/dinners. Nothing beats the face-to-face communication — no text, no email, no letter, no phone call. Being old school can distinguish you from the pack. Go old school.

There they are — my top 5 client services rules. There are 53 more of them in Solomon’s book. Pick it up today and transform your business.

Jamie Miller
Account Director,  Dunn&Co
VP Marketing Communications, AMA Tampa Bay