It’s odd. It’s almost as if the traditional agency model was build around creating the most frustrating client experience possible.
Junior heavy, to keep costs low, and interaction light (think weekly meetings) in order to spread people as thinly as possible.
The result? No truly deep understanding of the business, no longevity of experience but lots of layering on the fees.
We think there’s another way.
Inspired by the best design, we strip away anything that is extraneous and polish all that is beautiful.
So we don’t have a hierarchy of client service on every account.
Instead we have a strategy lead client service department with a senior client service person on each client. This person spends a large part of their time inside our clients’ offices, working from within their marketing team and is backed up by a project manager back at the agency.
We also don’t have a dozen traffic managers telling adult people how to spend their day.
Instead we have one ops person, good technology and very senior creative people who can manage their own accounts and deadlines.
Another thing we don’t have is a work until you drop philosophy. It’s a cliché but we truly believe that happy people means happy clients, so we do our best to enable our people to lead full creative lives.
We don’t work nights and weekends unless there is a real emergency. And we make sure our people get to do things that they need to do – birthdays off, duvet days, a dedicated ‘inspiration’ day and a morning or afternoon off every three months to get admin done. We also have our company driver available to do personal pick ups and drops offs to help out.
We also believe that where we works matters – for our clients and our people. Dogs are not only allowed in the office – they are encouraged. If we want people to be creative, they need to work from a creative environment. That’s why our office looks like this.
It may sounds like a fanciful view of a utopian agency. But for us it’s grounded in the reality of the client experience and it works. By sticking to our guns and our beliefs, we have seen 52% growth in one year. So it begs the question, why are clients (and agencies) still putting up with a model that’s frustrating the heck out of them? As I said, it’s odd.
Kyle Sarkas was a client service guy with lots of radical theories on how to improve the business. Now he is the Managing Director at RADAR, which he likes very much as it gives him opportunity to apply said theories.