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How 2020 Has Helped Strengthen Client Relationships


Client services director at MerchantCantos Rachael Ager discusses how the effects of the pandemic and working remotely have actually helped to strengthen collaboration and build stronger working relationships

How 2020 Has Helped Strengthen Client Relationships

I found myself laughing at and sympathising with ‘Paula’ in BT’s recent ad campaign, as she battles through an online meeting with a poor internet connection, much to the disappointment of her colleagues.

Because, thanks to 2020, we’ve all been there. Our working lives have moved online and we’ve learnt things about tech that we never thought we would. I realised for the first time earlier this month that by typing ‘speed test’ into my browser, I would get an accurate reading of my internet speed. I also felt rather proud when I connected my Spotify, WhatsApp and Alexa to my laptop. I’m also slowly getting better at playing sound through the various speaker options when presenting on the different VC platforms.

Finally, I will always remember my whole team’s amusement at realising that if you select the ‘virtual background’ option on Zoom and you happen to be wearing a green top it will project the pattern onto that instead of the background…

So, with a few new little wins under my belt, and smug confidence that I’m doing better than Paula, it made me think about the improvements we’ve seen in client service as a result of lockdown and our impromptu move to Zoom. Whereas our relationships with clients could have suffered from working remotely, actually, I think they could now be better.

Teams, Zoom, Hangouts. We now ‘hangout’ with clients. It’s a new lingo, it’s a new way of working, it’s now become unusual not to share video on calls and to see inside our houses – our choice of decoration, our cheeky pets and children making impromptu appearances. Gone are the days of it being taboo for your children to burst into the room while you’re mid-presentation on the news. Well, maybe that’s still a little unfortunate. But in many ways, it has become normal.

We’re all more available, we have new talking points, we’ve realised we often have unexpected things in common, we’re better at time management, better at presenting, better at not interrupting each other and are more aware of how we look when talking, listening and reacting to others. I now know my clients’ pets’ names, I appreciate their routines with children to accommodate new early morning and mid-afternoon responsibilities, I rehearse for meetings with colleagues so we present in a professional fashion.

Hopefully, soon we’ll all be back to whatever is the next ‘new normal’. And hopefully, we can all take forward some of our learnings to keep improving the way we work with each other, to one day reminisce fondly about ‘the days before Covid-19 when we didn’t know how to go on mute’.

- Rachael Ager, client services director, MerchantCantos 

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Brunswick Creative Campaigns and Content, Tue, 22 Dec 2020 15:02:37 GMT