The author of this article is Ritika Malhotra, Group Head at Social Kinnect
Have you ever wondered what makes an agency worth its salt? There are many wheels and levers that turn a gigantic engine that churns out multiple solutions for clients’ needs. There’s the charm of business development, the tech-savvy genius of web-design, the boundless imagination of the creative minds and the analytical efficiency of strategic minds – all worthy nominees. None of them however can lay claim on being the most integral part of the engine. That goes to the team we love to hate – Client Servicing.
I was spending a Saturday night with a few of my friends who now work all over the city in various agencies. And as expected there is a lot of #AgencyLife discussions happening. Suddenly I was in the middle of this pity party where I was being told how sad my life must be being a mere messenger. To be honest I didn’t quite understand what was happening in the start. I realised that in agencies, the other teams feel that Client Servicing people are just messengers who are taking what the creative team is telling them and communicating the same to client.
But that wasn’t the job I was doing. At all. In fact in my agency, Client Servicing is one of the most important team and the ones who get shit done. So it got me thinking.
You hear from the Client Servicing Team, too often perhaps, but you never really hear about them, do you? Their existence is a necessary evil to many, often seen as mere facilitators for the big guns to weave their magic. Is that the truth though? A roof doesn’t stand on its own or a beautiful portrait doesn’t just hang to your wall and likewise, an agency doesn’t hold fast without the patience, diligence and perseverance of this often unheralded function.
They are gladiators in their own right! Gladiators, because despite the romance of the heroism, the truth is that just like these Roman warriors, client servicing teams are often taken for granted. They fight the good battle for their internal teams, bear with extreme patience the ever changing needs of clients, push their own to bring the best for the brands they work on and yet just like Gladiators, are often left without ever being accepted by either side as their own!
Ideas aren’t birthed without great briefs, strategies not drawn up without ample direction, new businesses not won without happy client bases – there’s a client servicing executive working tirelessly making all of this possible without ever being recognised. For them, the campaign is most relevant. They are invested in ensuring that not only is the creative solution great but also they are the ones focussed on the business sides of things and are always striving to drive ROI for the brands they manage.
In agencies, relationships are everything! They maintain relationships with clients, oversee the agency’s account team across the board and even develop strategies for clients. They are in fact, problem solvers who analyze the markets, competitors and the client’s appetite to help develop mind-blowing ideas and in most cases drive actual return on investment for them.
Vivid colours captivate imagination, but great canvas holds it gently for eternity. Great chefs covet their kitchen sets, great artists covet their paint brushes, great agencies must recognise what makes them tick.
I am very proud to be part of an agency that understands the value of Gladiators. We believe that people in Client Servicing are not messengers but Brand Custodians.. They are encouraged to live and breathe the brand and own all the work happening on it.
Its imperative that company leaders understand the importance to hone and help these gladiators grow, as they are the best soldiers any organisation could hope for. They should do their level best to ensure that they are always motivated and celebrated.
It’s time that agencies start giving credit where credit is due. Client servicing teams should be involved at all levels of discussions with the client and the creative teams. They need to be able to contribute to the thinking process because ideas can come from anywhere. So client servicing should be treated with the respect that is often is not provided. In promoting this function, agencies empower their daily contact with clients even further leading to stronger relationships.
Ritika comes with extensive experience in the digital field. Her key focus has always been on driving business for her brands and the company. Ritika’s biggest asset is having worked on a plethora of brands ranging from wellness, finance, beauty, fashion, entertainment and retail which gives her insights and understanding on how different categories and sectors operate and how to devise strategies based of the varied needs of each. Some key brands she has worked on are Tide, fbb, Shiseido, DBS Bank, Lodha and Decathlon.
(This is an authored article and views expressed do not in any way represent the views of tvnews4u.com)