At Voce/Porter Novelli, client service excellence is foundational to everything we do. It’s our most important product. It’s how we grow our business and measure our success.
With client expectations higher, competition fiercer and budgets tighter, the room for error is marginal. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard in order to develop deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients.
That’s why four times a year we celebrate the Client Service Star Awards as an opportunity to recognize 10 outstanding Voce/Porter Novellians around the globe each quarter who exemplify the principles of Client Service Excellence. Winners of the Client Service Star Award have been recognized by both colleagues and clients alike for their dedication to: building long-term relationships, deepening their knowledge of the business, creating value in their daily role and keeping promises.
In this second installment of the client service excellence blog series, we spoke with Voce’s very own Q2 Client Service Star – Account Manager, Anne Trapasso.
What do you do at Voce/Porter Novelli?
I’ve been with Voce/Porter Novelli since the summer of 2010 and over the last six years I’ve worked on various accounts from social media publishing for a consumer brand to driving media programs for B2B clients. For the past 2+ years, I’ve really focused on helping build the Security Practice at Voce while simultaneously running the media relations programs for Palo Alto Networks and Micro Focus. As an Account Manager who’s worked my way up from an intern, it’s been so exciting to grow at the company and understand what it means to be a great Voce employee at each level.
What does client service excellence mean to you?
Client service excellence is all about going above and beyond for the customer. That involves really getting to know your client, and that helps forecast asks before they even come in. Client service excellence goes far beyond baseline account activities – it’s about digging in deep with your client to determine what will make them (and their entire department) look good to their boss and how you can help them achieve that level of excellence. You know you’ve succeeded when your client regards you and the PR team as a true partner vs. an outside entity present only to help push specific campaigns forward.
How have you come to learn successful client service?
During my time at Voce, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly smart, dedicated and kind colleagues. It’s through watching and listening to their interactions with clients, organizing weekly check-ins to talk through program strategies and always being open to feedback that has really taught me what it means to deliver the highest level of client service.
Do you have any role models who you look up to in this regard?
There are so many facets that fall under the term “public relations.” It’s why I still have a hard time explaining to people exactly what is it that I do each day. And because we must wear so many different “hats” for our clients, that has allowed me to cross paths and learn from so many wonderful professionals. Those that I really look up to the most are supervisors and clients that can extend beyond the actual work to build relationships. It’s during those times and interactions that we’re able to learn about each other, the client and their imperatives. In my opinion, this is how excellent client service can be achieved.
What advice would you give to others looking to mirror those client service excellence principles?
- Don’t ever stop working hard – some days it will feel like you aren’t making any progress. It’s during those times especially that you need to push forward, and you’ll come out as a stronger and more resilient professional.
- Don’t work harder, work smarter – this may seem to go against my advice shared directly above, but as you’re honing skills in a particular area, always ask yourself, “What can I do to make this [task or program] easier, faster, and smarter to achieve greater results for my client in the end?”
- Be open to learning from anyone who is willing to share knowledge with you – we are not in an easy business. Beyond the strategy aspect, we must remain aware of client and teammate personalities, limitations and not to mention the ongoing news cycle! Always have an eye out for colleagues and supervisors who are willing to take the time and teach you – no matter their specialty. This is an ever-changing business – you never know what new opportunities may arise!