Almost always, the exchange of money for goods or services rendered is met with a certain level of expectation. I pay for something, so I invariably expect to get it. Thats the entire business model summed up in one sentence.
Expecting a final product that may be a design piece or animation is well with in the right of the client. When I walk into a store and buy a jacket, I exchange money for the jacket and the jacket is my product I expect to get. The hook here, is that when that buying experience is nothing short of spectacular, I want to go and buy more jackets.
The famous creative industry tag line of “The Work. The Work. The Work.” illustrates that some companies have their own agendas and egos that need to be stroked in order to warrant the acclaim that they self promote. The quality of work and the idea should always be a given expectation of the client. The work doesn’t make you unique anymore. There are hundreds of creative agencies and studios the world over that can do exactly what we can, some can do it better and some do the entire job and industry a huge injustice. We are fortunate to have a career that pursues a passion. We make money doing what we love, so why not let it show in the way we deliver the final expected product.
The client expects great work, it’s what they paying us for, but instead of just doing the job for the financial reward, why not show how our love and passion interprets into the work we deliver while making their journey one that is memorable and as uncomplicated as possible. Give them the service they deserve. Don’t take the briefs for granted, because when they slowly start to evaporate and you’re left checking your incoming mail every 20 mins to see where your next job is coming from and there is nothing, think back to the time your client made a simple request and you decided that it was going to ruin YOUR work. Think back about the time you chose to inconsequently trash talk and bitch and moan about a client behind their back while having the word get back to that client. Think about the time you refused to take your clients request to heart and refused to compromise on enforcing your ideals. When you refused to be open and honest with your client and they caught wind of your dishonesty. When that penny drops and leave a wrecking ball sized dent in your prefrontal cortex, I hope for your sake, it’s not too late.
We have made mistakes. We are not perfect. In fact, when Totality was formed, we made a mistake that has potentially cost us, not only a client, but more importantly, a friendship. We blamed everyone else for the hiccups, but when we sat and scratched our heads, we had to own up, take responsibility and apologise. We made a monumental mistake and have subsequently learnt from it promising to never repeat on those flaws and faults. We realised that we as a company are bobbing around in an incredibly saturated market where mistakes can prove to be quite expensive and in order to distinguish ourselves from the clutter, we had to rectify and offer something that no one else can guarantee. No, it wasn’t the most mind altering campaign or creative ideas. It wasn’t the most inconceivably intricate design and it wasn’t the idea that was going to alter your current state of being. Quite simply, it was the unwavering commitment we pay to your job and an un compromised level of service.
Don’t become your clients bitch. Push back where and when necessary, but remember to maintain professionalism and respect. Once you cross the line and start to slide, its a slippery slope that no amount of undo’s can rectify.
We were recently paid the ultimate compliment based on this exact philosophy and we were surged with an overwhelming sense of pride. We have done it. We have made ourselves unique in a market where everyone has the same or an identical finger print. We were told that our costs have been slightly above what the client had budgeted and that cheaper alternatives have had to be used. The cheaper alternative delivered the product that we could have, but the dealings with, were dismal and out of pure frustration, the job was signed off and delivered to end the pain.
The service industry the world over could do with a small kick up the ass. Some places and industries have it waxed. But service is the right that all industries should entitle their clients to. We may finally have something different to sell ourselves on, and it makes our opportunities for growth unstoppable. Let us show how YOU how a client SHOULD be treated, all the while creating something that oozes with pride and finesse, because at the end of the day, we are also artists.