Human-centered is inspiring others and improving for the better.
Dictated by Yvonne Hsu, Business Director, KOL Radar
Written by Iris Hung
Back in 2020, COO Keynes brought up the concept of "Key Accounts" with the team. By the end of that year, I had completed a briefing about how to set up a "Key Account" system within the company. But in the first quarter of this year, when we tried to put theory into practice, we found that people still had doubts. So, after the Lunar New Year holidays, we held more rounds of internal discussions. First, we talked with the AM team; then, the KR team and the planning team; and then finally, with the entire business unit.
The AM team was mostly concerned about the resources we wanted to devote to the system. So, we volunteered information about how we would use the manpower and how we would set up complementary systems. I also drafted an "operational disclaimer" about Key Accounts, clearly stating our commitment to our customers, as well as the kind of support we wanted from the team. We even designed a ceremony where Keynes could reward members of the AM team for a job well done, so they would feel like it was their responsibility. If they needed any assistance, the whole team would be there for them.
Besides the AM team, the KR team and the planning team had similar concerns. Keynes and I held a second round of discussions with the two supporting teams. Through our talks, we understood their questions about the Key Account system, and we laid their fears to rest, right there during the meeting.
The third talk we had was with the entire KOL Radar team. Based on the primary concerns that were raised by various colleagues during our previous meetings, and judging by my discussions with Keynes and other team managers, I knew I would need to prepare a safety net for the whole team, if I were to have their unreserved cooperation. I made a schedule showing when we had worked with our Key Account customers in the previous year. I let everyone know what kind of value each client offered, as well as what sort of resources our departments had committed to their projects. This way, everyone knew what the maximum amount of effort being asked of them was.
In addition, I made a clear list of all the questions about integrating resources between departments, many of which had been brought up in the previous meetings. In the third meeting, I shared the requests that were made by other departments. By championing transparency and explaining everything in detail, I made sure everyone agreed on matters of internal cooperation and communication.
In the past, the KOL Radar team had followed a strict SOP. But the market is fluid and flexible; rules were made to be broken. Understanding our Key Accounts and what the market wanted was the only way to truly solve problems for our clients.
To my thinking, customer service is not without limits. We must keep a firm grasp on our own "identity"—that is to say, we satisfy our customers with our core competence, which is rooted in technology. We serve as the bridge between what customers want and what our products can provide. By responding to our customers' requests with professional solutions, we help customers understand our value is not in manpower, but in data technology. The Key Account system allows our data service to respond to customer requests with a greater degree of flexibility. However, if the client chooses to ignore the value in our data, or if they should treat us with disrespect—then, we would rather forgo such a customer.
My experience working in an advertising agency has taught me to be on the side of the customer. Our team is the customer's partner and comrade-in-arms. We are in the thick of it with our customers. I try to adhere to this principle in the work I do. I try to understand their pain point, put myself in their shoes, and provide a good solution that can solve all their problems. In return, I expect the customer to reward our respect with their respect. This is the core tenet of managing our Key Accounts.