Role reversal – getting under the skin of what high-quality account management really means to our clients

26 April 2023

Most agencies will claim to deliver the highest account management standards, but often client feedback doesn’t support this belief. In some cases, where client feedback is not being regularly sought, the first awareness agencies may have of issues is when work is assigned elsewhere.

At Wave, we strive to be continuously self-reflective and to challenge our beliefs and approaches. In our recent company meeting, we reviewed what high-quality account management genuinely means.

We took ourselves out of our daily routine and challenged our team to spend some time viewing our world through our clients’ eyes: how would clients know if their agency shared their ambitions, how could an agency make a client’s life easier, and how would clients want to see accounts being run?

Putting ourselves in our clients’ shoes generated a lot of discussion, some interesting insights, and a healthy blend of enjoyment and self-reflection. While the groups were reassuringly consistent in their assessment of what constitutes high-quality account management – noting the importance of proactivity, clear communication, and planning – it was evident that there should be no ‘one size fits all’ approach. The teams recognised the importance of listening, asking the right questions and adding value, with perhaps the most important aspect being ensuring that we understand exactly what that added value represents for each individual client.

Clients rightly expect high standards from their agencies. An essential part of that is the quality of the ongoing management of the relationship and the mentalities displayed by the agency team. Taking the time to critically evaluate account management practices from a client perspective, rather than through our own agency lens, was both enlightening and reassuring. It showed Wave exceeding in many areas, but also highlighted the evolving needs of our clients, particularly as we move into our post-COVID norms.

Perhaps the most important learning was the importance of our own self-reflection – that the gold standard account management approaches will need to continue to evolve to meet the expectations of our clients in the future.

The afternoon was great fun for the team, who ended the workshop with pizza and drinks!

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