As agencies, we don’t do a good job of talking to our entire team about the importance of really recognizing that it’s part of their job to create a relationship with the client, whether that’s by email, whether that’s by phone, or whether that’s in meetings. We have to make our clients feel like they are surrounded by a team. And for anyone and everyone on the team, it’s their goal is to take care of the client and their needs.
When our clients only know and like our AE, we are setting ourselves up for risk and failure.
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00:03Hey, everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute this week, coming to you from South Africa. Danyel and I are down here on safari for our honeymoon, and we're staying at a lodge called Ngala Safari Lodge. Ngala means lion in one of the African languages that's spoken here, but it's been an amazing experience for all kinds of reasons. But relevant to you is one of the things I've observed. So when we got here, we got assigned to a team of people. So you get assigned basically what they call a butler. So that's somebody who's responsible for your accommodations, but also responsible for serving all the meals to you and learning sort of what you like to eat and what you like to drink. You're assigned a guide who's going to drive the safari Jeep, a tracker who's partnered with the guide. So you have this whole team of people who's assigned to you. 00:56But what's been really interesting is watching how the other staff people have reacted to us and how very quickly it was made very clear that no matter what we needed and whether our people were around or not, that any staff person would rise to the occasion, create a relationship with us and solve our problem or accommodate our need or our request, whatever that is. And it's been really lovely to feel cared for by an entire staff. And it got me thinking about one of the challenges we have inside our agencies, which is, for many of our clients, they feel like they have an account person, and that's great, but they feel like that's their person and that they only have one person. Maybe they have an account coordinator and an account manager, but they have a relationship with one or two people in the agency, and we all know that there's risk with that, right? 01:46So the account person decides to move on, or we decide to move them on, or client contact moves on. And we have no other relationship inside the organization. And they have no other relationship inside our organization. And I don't think we do a good job of talking to our team about the importance of really recognizing that it's part of their job to create relationship with the client, whether that's by email, whether that's by phone, whether that's in meetings. We have to make our clients feel like they are surrounded by a team. And anyone and everyone on the team is their goal is to take care of the client and their needs. On the flip side, I think a lot of times for our staff, if they're not on the account service side of the business, they feel disconnected from the client. They don't really have a relationship with them. 02:38They don't really know them. And so when we ask them to rise to the occasion, to stay late or do something over, or to really push themselves to do something bigger or better, a lot of times the motivation while they want to serve their boss or their teammate. The motivation isn't as deep as, I care about this client. I know this client. I really want to do a great job for this client. And so I think we're missing a whole layer of both accountability, relationship, responsibility, but also commitment and care. And so I think one of the things we have to do inside our agencies is do a better job of having a plan, a game plan, of how we're going to connect the client to more members of the team and how we're going to connect our team members to the clients that they serve. 03:26There is something magical that happens when we know each other, when we care about each other, when we really want to make that person happy, because we have a relationship with them. And I think that works on both sides of the fence. And so one of the ways to solidify our clients, to guarantee retention of our clients is to be really thoughtful and really intentional about how we create relationship with them beyond the account service team. So give that some thought, take it back to your leadership team, have some conversations around it, and put a plan in place. All right, see you next week.