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Making ‘Sustainability’ as an Extra Value for Your Clients

Writen by Le Thi Han – s3393951

Managing the client-agency relationship is very challenging when it comes to the issue of mutual understanding. Last week, I came to Nielsen research agency to get the professional’s solution to strengthen the mutual understanding and I was especially surprised by the way Nielsen created extra value for its clients.

From a friend’s recommendation, I was introduced to Ms. DinhThi Kim Huyen, who is a five-year senior executive at Nielsen research agency. Being an expert in measurement and information, Nielsen empowers its clients by providing deep consumers and market insight for a more profitable strategy. The company also has very good reputation with long history of operation and the staff’s skills. As one of the leaders research agency, both local and global clients, whether they are in media, consumer packaged goods, telecom or advertising from small to large scale, usually come to Nielsen for its services (Nielsen, 2013).

Ms.Huyen is in charge of not only leading the internal teams but also meeting and dealing with the clients. In other words, she decides how long and strong the relationship between Nielsen and its client can last. Therefore, I came straight to the company and asked for her experience in client management.

Image

Figure 1: ‘Proof of life photo – Taken by Ms Huyen subordinate’

Mutual understanding is a must

According to IPENZ (2005), the success of human relationship is built by spending times and effort to understand each other business and circumstances. Although it takes a long time to proceed, mutual understanding between client and agency not only can build stronger relationship but also can produce productive and effective outcomes.

Educating your client and creating added value for them

However, it is not always that the clients understand what Nielsen does but they also have conflicts sometimes. For Nielsen, the biggest problem is the timeline as clients often want the proposer earlier than the expected deadline. “We understand that they are curious with the findings and want to set up the strategy as soon as possible but quality, price and time cannot stand equally for a successful project”, MsHuyen illustrated. With that misunderstanding, it not only can ruin the projects but also can harm the agency-client relationship.   As a result, there is a need for self-training to get mutual understanding between clients and agency.

Ms. Huyen shared with me her strategy in dealing with this problem. “First of all, we’re not gonna blame clients or complaint anything but accept the decision”, she said. “Secondly, we do tell them that the price-time-quality triangle cannot be fulfilled and try to give them as much as possible at that time”, she added. Thus, the client can understand how complicated the job is and tend to take it easier on the agency.

However, it still somehow can dissatisfy the client so Ms. Huyengave me a very clever tip to work on it. “We also ask them for quick feedback and develop a full and more sustainable proposal with extra research about related field on the first expected deadline”, she said.  It shows that the agency is responsible with the project but they also make sustainability as added value for the client. Moreover, both parties are required to work together so it can enhance their mutual understanding and relationship.

It is clear that client management is not only about satisfying the client but also about understanding them. The mutual understand between agency and client can be developed through training and collaboration of both sides. Moreover, creating added value for clients is also necessary to go beyond their expectation and win their loyalty in the relationship.

Word count: 597

References

Nielsen, 2013, ‘About Us’, viewed 24 December 2013, http://www.nielsen.com/intl/vn/about-us.html .

The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand Incorporated (IPENZ), 2005, ‘Developing and Maintaining Client Relationship”, Practice No.6, http://www.ipenz.org.nz/ipenz/forms/pdfs/PN06_Maintaining_Client_Relationships.pdf.

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