The Art of Client Service
by Holland-Mark | December 22, 2010
One of the four products we offer our clients at Holland-Mark is something we’ve called EPOC: Every Point Of Contact. A company’s image and brand are more than just a tagline or the elevator speech from the CEO. The real brand of a company is a compilation of experiences that take place each time an employee answers the phone, or greets a guest at the front door, or has a discussion about money with a vendor or client. Every interaction matters, and we work with clients to achieve this. I was reminded of how important this is when I read Robert Solomon’s revised and updated edition of The Art of Client Service.
Solomon’s 58 rules are broken down into three categories: The Work, Relationships, and Style and Substance. A glance at the table of contents and you think, “Yeah, of course these are the things we should be doing.” But the problem is, oftentimes we don’t feel we have the time to do them.
Simple ideas, like “Take the word Brief seriously,” are illustrated with real-world examples of Solomon’s failure and success at becoming great at key client service tasks. His stories are relatable, funny, and most importantly, they stick with you. What I loved most about his book was hearing that what I do for a client is just as important as what my creative director and design team do. The Work is what’s praised, but the nuance of the relationship rests with me.
Solomon’s book is a quick read and a fantastic reference for those new to client service as well as those in the business for years. Most of what I read in this book I had heard in our office before, but it was a concise and easy-to-read reminder of why I like this line of work. I may not be able to create an award-winning ad, but I can work hard each and every day to be honest, fair, and helpful to my clients. What I do matters, and the payoff to the hard work that goes into great client relationships is noticed.