THE ROLE OF CLIENT MANAGER IN MAINTAINING AND BALANCING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLIENTs AND SUPPLIERS
Author: Trinh Thanh Tung
ID number: s3342286
Few days ago, I came to Campaign Solution PHD to understand deeply about “The role of client manager between the relationship of clients and suppliers” as well as to seek for the professional solution from an expert. Campaign Solution is a new digital marketing agency in Vietnam. Their services focus mostly on providing digital strategies, social plan and maintain the relationship between fans and brands as well as giving solutions for any digital problems for many famous brands such as HTC, TH Milk, AT&T, etc.
Mr. Loc is an expert in client management and he had 5 years experience in serving clients. His responsibilities are contacting with clients to get brief for new projects as well as pitching for new clients. In addition, he is also in charge of managing the whole media projects, keeping in track with the suppliers to make sure the projects go smoothly and doing the client’s competitors analysis.
Proof of life – Taken at Campaign Solution PHD
“Client manager is the invisible bridge between client and supplier”
According to Haytko (2005), the role a client manager is maintaining the relationship between an agency and its clients. However, in the real workplace, it is a major difference. Mr. Loc friendly shared that “Being a client manager is not easy, his role is not simply a messenger who receive and send the information from client to supplier but it is more than that”.
He argued, “The relationship between client, client manager and the suppliers is seen as isosceles triangle and he is the one who must keep that triangle in balance”.
“If you lose the control and can not keep it in balance as it supports to be, the relationship between you and another party could be break immediately and this could lead to serious consequences such as low productivity, losing trust and even damage the company’s image”, he continued.
“Be a teacher! Educating the role of each other”
To make the client and suppliers work with each other smoothly, a client manager has to give them the collaborative efforts and make them understand the role of each other (Wognum, Fisscher & Weenink 2002). Continue with this idea, Mr. Loc stated “clients usually do not realize the appearance of the supplier, so a good client manager should educate the client that the supplier is our partner”. They are not work for us but work with us. We have to make client to understand that the supplier is strategic partner and the executive expert. We have to aware clients that if we rush them work over limitation, the quality of work could be damaged”. “In another hand, we also make clear to the supplier about the objectives of clients, brief in detail about the client’s project, timeline as well as what the client wants mostly from us as an advertising expert.”
“The magic of trust is incredible”
According to Exforsys (2009), to maintain and keep the relationship in peace, trust is the core foundation and the way to build trust in others is “through your passion, your understanding of what you are doing, your understanding about the insights of clients and suppliers”, Mr. Loc said.
Mr.Loc also believes that the more you could gain trust from clients, the more you could gain the sympathy from them. It means when the client could place trust in you, it could be more easy to you to deal with client to get extensive timeline if there is any unexpected problems as well as persuade clients that what you are doing is for the success of clients only and your given timeline is to make sure the quality of work and you can not finish it sooner. By this way, you could also gain the trust and relationship with your suppliers too because you help them to fight against the pressure from clients as well as to avoid overload. As a result, they could offer you the high quality of services, which could satisfy the needs of clients and give benefits to your agency.
Balancing the relationship between clients and suppliers is very important and it could take part in the success of our tasks. So as a client manager, I think we need to remember the first rule of success: ““Keep the triangle be balance as it supports to be”
Boehler, S, Rhone, T & Stier, K 2005, “Best practices in Client/Ad Agency Relationships”, Mercer Island Group, viewed 1st January 2014, http://migroup.com/news_&_media/mercer_relationships.pdf
Exforsys Inc 2013, How to Build Relationship Based on Trust, 11 March, viewed 1st January 2014, <http://www.exforsys.com/career-center/personal-excellence/build-relationships-based-on-trust.html>.
Haytko, D.L 2005, ‘Firm to Firm and International Relationships: Perspectives from Advertising Agency Account Managers’, Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 32, no.3, pp. 312-328.
Loc, M 2014, interview, 2nd January 2014