In a recent study conducted by research agency Hall & Partners, they note: “Think about how many people on the agency team, at all levels, communicate with the client. Now, count how many people are involved on the client side. Multiply that interaction — every hour, day, week, month. It equals a huge number of interactions – each a chance for miscommunication not only in content but in intent as well.”
As this relationship is of such critical importance, we have a team at Ovative Group dedicated to elevating every email, call, and in-person interaction with our clients. Our metric for success is that working with us should be the best part of your day. We strive to deliver this elevated level of service in the spirit of making the relationships we have with clients better for both parties. The following post dives into three specific ways we have elevated our own client experience, but we believe these strategies are applicable for every client-agency relationship.
1. Understand your internal team.
In order to better communicate with your client, you first need to button up communication with your own team. When any new person joins Ovative Group, they complete Insights Discovery™. The Insights Discovery methodology uses a simple and memorable four color model to help people understand their style, their strengths and the value they bring to the team. This evaluator has not only helped Ovative team members better understand themselves, but also the other Ovative Group employees they regularly work with.
Every Ovative employee has their color blocks placed on their desk at work.
Erin Aberg, Director on the Site Optimization team at Ovative and Certified Insights Discovery Practitioner, says, “The result of deeper self-awareness and team awareness drives more effective communication and decision-making within the team. It also allows for greater appreciation of individual contributions to the group.” When we acquire a new client, we carefully curate a team of experts for them according to the personality types and communication styles that we believe would work best.
2. Develop a common language with the client.
As Insights Discovery has become so meaningful for Ovative, we realized its potential to have a positive impact on the relationships we’re building with our clients. In addition to the value it provides, it’s really a fun experience and serves as a great bonding opportunity for teams. So, we tried it with our clients at Michigan Lottery.
Travis Priest, Printed Products Manager at Michigan Lottery, said it provided him “a deeper connection to [our] organization which helped [him] believe and trust [our] knowledge and expertise on respective subject matter.” In other words, this allowed us to establish a common language, understanding and a heightened sense of trust.
With more insights about our client’s preferences, we are able to tailor our approach and communication style accordingly. This might include things like along-the-way preparation and collaboration, how we approach client meetings, the communication tools we use, getting to clarity on roles and responsibilities and more.
3. Bring your personality.
The final tip for creating an effective client experience is simply bringing a personal touch to every interaction. While seemingly obvious, it is this step that is so often forgotten and underappreciated. Whether it’s remembering your client’s favorite sports team, following up about their weekend, or doing a quick pulse check to gauge how they’re feeling, there are easy ways you can improve this aspect of your interactions.
At Ovative, we make an effort to adapt to our clients’ cultures but also welcome them into our own. As an example, our annual holiday celebrating the work of our employees, Shenanigan’s Day, wouldn’t be possible without our clients. For that reason, we send each of them a Shenani-box filled with games, puzzles, and other fun activities so that they can be apart of the festivities.
Whether it’s Insights Discovery, or another way to get a better understanding of your team’s working style, the process of building trust and a common language is essential. Liz Giffen, Paid Media Program Manager from the NeoPollard Interactive team dedicated to Michigan Lottery, says, “I would definitely recommend this process to all organizations…it really forces you to take a step back and evaluate yourself and the people around you so that you can continue to grow and develop internally and professionally.”