6 ways to turn your Client Servicing team into a ‘Gladiator’

Is client servicing really the most thankless job in advertising? Is he actually the un-official postman in the team? To a lot of senior marketing chaps, client servicing is the “slumdog” who would never become a millionaire. May be they are right, after all what value does a client servicing adding to the whole process other than behaving as the courier boy between the creative/ media & the client. Though in some cases it may not be true, there are agencies where a CS guy is double hatting as planner as well. But, often he/she is looked upon as the punching bag between the creative & the client.

9 years ago, I started my career as a client servicing professional in the super mad world of digital advertising. To me, client servicing was never a dull job. My day was full of action,  meeting clients in the morning, decoding briefs & de-briefing the creative in the afternoon, meeting publishers by evening & submitting the plans by night. In the middle of this madness, there was hardly any time to think about the other side of client servicing.

Anyways, things have changed, though most of the people who are not creative enough & certainly not an MBA either, they start their career with CS but no longer it is an aspired job profile. Most of the recruiters glorify the hidden dumbness of the client servicing role. But to be honest, none of this is adding any value to the agency or the client.

Can we really add a bit of spice to the life of client servicing person so that he starts looking at the most mundane job in an altogether different fashion?

The answer is Yes.

Here are some of the possible ways in which a client servicing person would be more than just a brick in the wall.

Change his job description

Do not call him a servicing person, sometimes it feels like “I’m a waiter” and serving you food. This is something which needs to be adopted across industry i.e. client servicing should be replaced by client advisor which would bring a sense of pride in his work and rather than assuming that he is just a dumb resource in the company, he would start using his logical side of the brain a lot more often.

Build ownership

Client should always know that his single point of contact is his client servicing person, the more he trusts the CS, the better it is. More than just a feeling of getting things done for the account, there is a sense of ownership at work that a CS would start to develop. Initially, most of the Account managers are born lazy, unless you build a sense of purpose to their work, you would never be able to get the best out of them.

Reward them

Lets accept it, there is no better way to make someone stand up and take responsibility than acknowledging his work by way of monetary reward. I understand the concern of the Agency that the CS is not a profit function ( read next point ), but there is no harm in rewarding their performance by giving them gifts during their appraisal.

Pre-Sales support

I can bet, this is something which 95% of the agencies ( online or offline ) have not thought of properly. Think of it this way, an agency is nothing more than its intellectual capital and you need hands to create it. Once you start grooming them like presales, over a period of time, they would get the larger picture of agency business and can contribute to the revenue directly. As a function, presales is unexplored in the digital domain, which in my opinion should form one of the most critical functions since digital demands constant knowledge upgrade & research. Everything is changing so fast around you, that your business & creative team won’t be able to keep a track of it. Client servicing should actually fill this gap by providing market insights during pitches and keeping track of the trends & competition.

Make them socialize

‘How many agencies spend dedicated time on their own social campaign? I mean the solution which you are desperately selling to your clients, you haven’t even done 1% of that for yourself. Strange!

How about making the client servicing team the official brand ambassadors for the agency and make them spread your name wide in the social sphere. A part of their job should focus on building compelling case studies of the agency’s recent work ( in association with the creative & business teams ) and spread it like wild fire on social media. It is a great learning for the servicing person that would teach him lessons in branding & communications & beneficial for the agency in terms of generating fresh leads & prospects.

  • Hi Piyush

    I loved this article of yours. Good thought

  • thanks Rachna. whatever i write on Socially yours are views which i developed after seeing this industry for long.