When it comes to client servicing, it’s time to digitize to optimize, says Tony Sarkis, media manager, UM MENA
Digitization has transformed from a future or a trend, into an actual reality in current times, as evidenced in its presence within multiple sectors of our business ecosystem. To quote Jack Welsh, former CEO of GE, “The biggest opportunity for big companies has come by far in the digitization of internal processes.”
The fact of the matter is that digitization has resulted in services and customer experiences moving online, which has multiple needs from a business and customer experience. Businesses seek data centralization to achieve work efficiency the best way possible. Simultaneously by doing so, they constantly aim to elevate the client/customer experience making it easier, on the go and real-time.
When it comes to our media industry – which has rapidly digitized – there are a few questions to consider: Why didn’t our mode of communication and servicing with clients develop in sync with digitization? Are clients resistant? If and when this happens, how will this affect the human force relative to automated task accomplishment? With the introduction of Microsoft Cloud, and similar products, we see where the future is headed and how businesses from all industries are either starting to or have adopted such means of data centralization and collection for work convenience.
However, most of these online and cloud-based hubs are mass services that are rarely customized to the unique needs of each specific industry.
Putting things into perspective
The media and advertising industry today is massively driven by data. Moreover, it is comprised of professionals – both, agency and client side – who require complex data that is not only to understan but can also be accessed quickly. Not neglecting the fact that agencies have developed proprietary online tools, which tackle one aspect of information, the idea of a centralized hub is still missing, with tools working in silos. And this is without even mentioning the servicing element of our work , which is essential.
Altering to the new norm
In a new world order, agency team structures would have to be altered to serve a “new normal”. For instance, employees who currently spend around 40 to 50 percent of their time tackling redundant tasks, could be potentially used for more ROI-lead tasks.
Essentially, employees would focus on the ‘client’, while the ‘servicing’ would be automated.
But, let’s not get carried away. Although one can automate data processing, the human touch in analytics and critical thinking is vital. From a client perspective, tracking their media numbers, activity and accomplishments would be just a click away. As information is centralized through a user-friendly platform (replicated on a mobile interface), long gone are the repetitive tasks and multiple phone calls requesting the same info shared over and over again.
And as a cherry on top, information is real-time, all the time.
The way I see it, there are many aspects from which agencies would benefit when it comes to digitization.
In summary, the shift to a smart agency culture with automation and digitization at its core, manpower management, and workforce allocation would be optimized to increase work productivity, employee training and empowerment, and R&D along with experimentation.
In the words of Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”