Last year AKHIA launched the AKHIA Service Index (ASI), a program designed to make our agency service model a little more tangible. For years we have been known for our service. But, for years, we’ve had a hard time measuring it.
Yes, I like to point to our average client relationship of seven years (a little more than double the industry average). And yes, I do have an email folder titled ‘good stuff’ where I file all of the emails our teams we receive from clients. But aside from printing these out and hanging them on the refrigerator we have struggled to quantify service.
Now in its second year the ASI has done this, and so much more. The survey is loosely based on the Net Promoter Score model, although we have more than two questions. In addition to helping us monitor our own performance it also reveals areas where we can focus on bringing more value.
This is what has led to an interesting revelation when it comes to our approach to service: it’s always changing. We can see it, right before our eyes—clients need more from us. Their companies need more from them. Marketing and communications, throughout the organization, is as critical to a business’s success as it ever has been.
How we serve our clients today is a lot different than how we served them five, even three years ago. If you work with an agency, and you’re reading this, ask yourself the last time you’ve been happy with doing ‘what we’ve always done’. The point is, you know you need to push your organization to think differently sometimes. The hard part is figuring out how.
Have you uttered any of these phrases lately?
- No one talks to each other.
- How do we show our value to the rest of the organization?
- We’re brought into the discussion too late.
- We need an open communication concept.
- We need to overhaul our program.
These are all common issues in today’s businesses. But how do you fix them? How do you overcome these challenges? The better question might be “Who can help me solve these?” Is the ‘who’ the right fit for your business? Are they asking the right questions? Is their focus on the business strategy?
If you can’t confidently answer these questions it might be time to expect more from your agency partners. Trust me. If you have the right agency partner these added expectations will never exceed the pressure we put on ourselves to bring value to your business.
Expect more from us. Today, you need to.
If you’re interested in seeing more questions you can use to benchmark your own expectations, please let me know. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link to the 2017 ASI.