There’s lots of things we’re not, and old-fashioned is one of them.  We’re a digital agency after all and with that comes the need (and want) to be at the top of our digital game.

Launching an industry-first SaaS, integrating with new fan-dangled APIs, tracking user journeys in a way that blows our brains.  We’re always looking for a new, better way to deliver and maximise results for our clients.

But it got me thinking.  Is there always a ‘new, better way’?  When it comes to Client Services (something I profess to knowing a thing or two about given my (ahem nearly) 20 years in agency life) I beg to differ.  

The immediacy and transparency of today’s digital world means clients can judge and critique the success of a campaign or project almost instantly.  And what happens if those results don’t cut the mustard?  Worse-case scenario, you’re out the door and the next agency who guarantees they can deliver better results gets the gig.  Transitionary perhaps?

Thankfully, this isn’t something we see at Rally.  We’re proud to have long-lasting clients that go back many (in some instances, more than 10) years.  Clients that have stood the test of time and spanned multiple agencies.  And the reason why?  I genuinely believe it’s because we do things properly, the good old-fashioned way.  

So what is this old-fashioned Account Management way?  It’s pretty simple and in my mind comes down to three simple factors:

Research

Getting under the skin of the client’s business and brand means we get it.  We’re not trying to be them, but without understanding and appreciating the brand’s make-up, the competitive landscape, the business history, the pros and the pitfalls and ultimately the campaign objectives we’ll never successfully craft a useful creative brief.  And without a brief, the output from the creative team will be way off the mark, and if the creative doesn’t work, the build will be flawed, and well you get it, the results won’t stack up...

It’s an investment in time, but getting into our clients’ heads drives better results.

Communication

Communication isn’t just a quick phone call.  It’s more.  So much more.  Preparation and planning, agendas, schedules, written scopes, formal cost estimates, contact reports.  And detail.  The devil is most definitely in the detail.  Detail breeds expectation-setting, and delivering against expectations results in a happy client.

Accountability

Being accountable is par for the course.  We’re part of the client’s team and that means we take responsibility.  The results we drive aren’t just for the client, they’re for us.  Transparency and honesty make us who we are.  We share the good, bad and the ugly and if we f*ck up (and yes it happens), we tell the truth.  That’s the only way we know to build trust.

And trust is the golden nugget in this agency-client partnership.

And that’s the key thing here. Partnership.  It’s more than just a relationship: it’s a partnership.

How many partners do you know that give up at the first hurdle?

Written by Ali Meredith, Client Services Director and Co-founder of Rally.