Client Service Directors Breakfast 12 November 2014

14 Nov 2014

Showing off is great... but apologies are good too.

On Wednesday 12 November BIMA held the second in the new series of Client Services / Account Management events.  James Bassett, Head of Digital Creative at Sony Music UK lead the meeting with an insightful and very entertaining presentation on what the client thinks. Emma Nicol, CSD at Amaze moderated the session and it was hosted by Julian Douch of Open Reply in their rather magnificent boardroom.

We welcomed: senior client service professionals from: Amaze; Analogfolk; Bray Leino; e3; Caliber; Cyber-Duck; Digital Annexe; Furthermore; Lab; Mint Twist; OgilvyOne; Open Reply; ORM; N3rd; Redweb; Seven and TH_NK.

What do clients really think?

James put forward many illustrated views on good client services practices and how to manage your client. Here are a few headlines:
- Be a service without being a servant: your client is not good at this but you are; pick your battles and be tough if you need to
- Understand your client and their goals: investigate what they are trying to achieve and walk them back from that
- Don’t be nice. Be good at what you do
- Think about whether you can achieve good work with a client – is the partnership right?
- Ease anxiety: innovation and creativity does not blossom in comfort zones so it is your role to support and lead your client on the creative journey to achieve the best result
- Be transparent: e.g., changing the brief has cost implications so remind the client along the way so there are no surprises at the end
- Apologise: own your mistakes and resolve them
- Maintain the relationship: follow up on all work and ask how successful it was. Have an ongoing review process
- Talk about the good stuff you do, all clients want to know about your successful projects.

James’ comments lead to an enjoyable and animated discussion addressing topics such as procurement, training, client expectations, performance related project pay; relationships, honesty and what details nail the deal on a pitch. These are all ideas which will feed into future CS events.

It was universally agreed that James’ own creative background and his role at Sony as both client and in house agency rendered him to be an incredibly understanding client but he admitted even he has the odd bad day…

What next for the BIMA CS community…

The session was wrapped up by Emma with a final discussion on how the client services community should progress. It was noted that both breakfasts had been booked out so the next event will be open to larger number of people, most likely with a panel of speakers. Themes around procurement, managing corporate clients, raising the value of the CS, training and setting practitioner standards were proposed.

Siji Onabanjo of Cyber-Duck who won the Wirehive Account Handler of the year award will also be a guest speaker at a 2015 event.

There will be quarterly BIMA Client Services events next year, more activity across the Linkedin group and investigation into additional services for the community around training and accreditation.

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