Delivering a digitally-enhanced client experience
Here at Spindogs, we’re big believers in the idea that “people buy people”. It was a huge part of our original growth when we worked with the South Wales Networking Events and it has been baked into our DNA ever since. We have developed long-standing relationships with clients of all sizes across different industries. We are proud of the effort that’s gone into making them feel valued and the little touches we add to show each of our clients that we care. We even have a department dedicated to ensuring our clients have the best possible experience when working with Spindogs, headed up by myself as Head of Client Services.
Changing the way our account managers work
In 2020, our account managers were forced to adapt their entire approach to establishing client relationships, almost overnight. As we look back on the last year and what we have learned about client relationships, we’ve put together our top three observations on how digital has evolved the art of account management and has helped us to deliver a better experience for our clients:
We’ve always made communication with our clients a priority. We have found ways to ensure we speak to them regularly, whether that’s been on the phone for ad-hoc catch-ups and status updates or in person for something a little more significant. However, March 2020 saw video calls erupt in popularity as we all became overnight experts in Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Houseparty (which already seems retro) as a way to maintain valuable human contact.
For our account managers, this has meant working with all of our clients to ensure regular calls are scheduled in the diary. Not only has this tested our communication skills, but we’ve also had to understand our clients’ preferences and shape our approach to suit them accordingly. Do they prefer talking with their camera on or off? Do they want to speak weekly or fortnightly? Do they want a high-level run-through or a detailed deep dive? As video call fatigue has begun to kick in, these regular catch-ups have needed to be closely managed to ensure that all participants are getting something out of the call. And, we’ve also become experts in adding new backgrounds and learnt the etiquette of the mute button. So, that’s a tick in the ‘better meetings’ box!
As we have adopted a more flexible way of working, we have had to adapt the way we share and collaborate resources and information with our clients and the rest of the team. Shared activity trackers via the likes of Google Drive, have reduced the strain on our already-busy clients’ diaries and allowed us to exchange information effectively and reassure them that things are on track. Sharing a screen to walk through a client’s project with them or diagnosing a problem that they need our support team to take a look at over video call, has been a perfectly viable alternative to doing that sort of thing in person. Collaboration tools have also been helpful when we are signing off designs or copy with our clients. You’d argue that these things were already gaining popularity, but they now play a much more fundamental role in how we manage our client relationships, collaborate and share information and updates.
Our final thought on how digital transformation has shaped our approach to account management: We’ve tried, where possible, to keep things ‘business as usual’. We have put the necessary processes in place to ensure our clients still see and experience the same Spindogs in both our work and our attitude throughout the pandemic. While our approach and the technology we have used might have changed, the level of service and experience we provide to our clients remains the same.
We’re not going to be able to recreate our famous client parties or have the chance to meet in person for a few drinks any time soon. But, there are certainly some fuzzy heads to show for the merits of virtual social occasions. Where it’s welcomed, we’re still happy to wax lyrical on the merits of Wales’ Six Nations rugby victory, the proficiency of Taylor Swift’s album generation or why Marvel’s Phase 4 could be its most ambitious undertaking yet – of course, all via a video call!
Most importantly, we have continued to show up at our desks (whether that’s in the office or at home) and adapt the way we work to ensure that our clients get the best experience that we can deliver and stay with us for the long haul.