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10 lessons I learned from The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon

    1. Although great work is good, it doesn't keep clients. Great service and relationships do.

    2. Managing client expectations is key

    Especially if you or the client do not have a clear idea of what is being delivered.

    3. Define success for the client

    When providing products or services to customers, it's always useful to understand what success looks like.

    4. Use the 'so what' test

    After you create something, ask yourself if it aligns with the success outcomes the client desires and then ask yourself 'so what'

    5. Dont fall in love with good work

    Good work is the enemy of great work

    6. Choice is good

    Sometimes there's a few different ways to do something (a deliverable). What's the right number to present? Likely 3. This gives the client (could be a customer, your boss, an executive) a choice but not too many options. But more importantly, it helps with the buy-in of the approach.

    7. Fight about work with colleagues. Fight for it with clients.

    8. Be in-person

    When Robert had a client in New York (he was based in Boston), he flew to New York frequently to meet with the client. Even on weeks when he wasn't needed in New York, he would fly there and meet up with the client, hang around their offices, absorb the culture and language. When it came time to renew the contract, the New York client said that he saw him more than other New York-based agencies.

    9. Follow up

    You never know what gets misunderstood or misinterpreted. You might agree to next steps and decisions at a meeting but at the next meeting, see that the client wants something else. That's why following up is critical to making sure everyone is on the same page.

    10. Maximize value - don't sell

    When Robert says don't sell, he means don't push things onto clients. He wants clients to buy great work. Why? Great work has a certain element of risk with it. And when clients buy great work, they're taking on that risk because they trust the agency. If you push work onto clients, they might buy, but they will lose trust in the agency.

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