A day in the life of : A Client Services Account Manager

This time our ‘day in the life’ series puts the spotlight on David Dennington from our Client Services team. David takes us on a exhilarating journey through a typical day of a Client Services Account Manager at Builtvisible.

What first attracted you to Builtvisible?

Honestly? It was how Builtvisible talked about themselves and their clients. I didn’t pick up any ego, just a group of people doing good work they knew others valued. Plus, they seemed to be working with clients that they really enjoyed working with! Sure, I’d had a handful of fun clients previously, but to be in a position where you actively look forward to client meetings seemed a little too farfetched.

The more I looked at Builtvisible, the more I knew it was where I wanted to be. I had another job I was in the final stages of, but I was interviewing knowing I was already set on Builtvisible. I got through my front door from the other interview and immediately starting prepping for the Builtvisible second stage! I worked on it all weekend, just to give myself the best chance.

How would you describe the Builtvisible culture?

I find that culture is always an interesting one to describe. Maybe that’s because many organisations believe that culture is set out by straplines, rather than what actually happens day to day (or when under pressure). If I were going to describe the Builtvisible culture, the first word I would use is: collaborative. There’s a real feeling that we’re all in this together, and everyone is working towards the same goals. There’s also a huge amount of space for innovation, and believe it or not – failure! I can’t count how many times I’ve got something wrong, and it was celebrated as a learning opportunity. When there’s no fear in making honest mistakes, it encourages incredible honesty which leads to a whole load less anxiety. I feel I’m able to tell my manager Tori anything, and it gives me confidence to try new things.

I mentioned it previously, but there is also a humility that goes all the way to the top, throughout management. There’s no ego or power moves. No one is throwing their weight around to make a point. I feel like I can approach anyone within this company and they would make time for me. As a new starter, it was easy to settle in quickly.

What are your favourite Builtvisible perks?

For me, it would have to be truly flexible working. I don’t just mean hybrid working – that’s just the new normal. I’m talking about flexibility that allows other priorities in life to fit in with the job. That, combined with the wellbeing support is an absolute win. I’ve made use of both the healthcare that’s offered, and the mental wellbeing support. Fantastic services that in no way should be taken for granted.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Client services is an interesting one! It can change day on day, but the majority of my time is spent checking in on client work, ensuring we’re managing expectations for delivery, and being the go-between for our clients and our teams. I also take responsibility of planning our QBRs – which is really about storytelling –­ you’re constructing a narrative of what’s been happening that will make most sense to the client.

The good news is Builtvisible doesn’t gatekeep their consultants, so it’s not a game of broken telephone! I’m ensuring our team fully understand what’s required of them and do the same with the client. So, I have freedom to plan my own day – micromanagement-free! The job does require adapting quickly, sometimes things pop up that just need dealing with there and then, but very rarely do things feel out of control.

What would you look for in a new team member if you were hiring?

Someone who likes people, and enjoys the process of working towards something. Great client relationships don’t come overnight! At the end of the day, clients are people and you need to be able to treat them as such – they have their own goals, aspirations, likes and dislikes. Builtvisible refuses to work with notoriously difficult individuals, but everyone can have an off day. The trick is to not take it personally, and understand the potential for the relationship in the long run.

You don’t need to be a whizz at SEO. We have consultants here for a reason, and you’re not going to be left to fend for yourself from day one. If you can communicate ideas and concepts clearly to individuals and groups, I would say this could be a really good fit.

What’s the most exciting product or project you’re working on at the moment?

We’re working with Vodafone Netherlands at the moment, helping them identify new opportunities for growth. It’s always exciting, showing a client where they could be uncovering absolute gold. The best moments are when you show them an opportunity that lies within something they weren’t expecting at all!

What has your training and development looked like?

In all my previous jobs, I’ve been told that if I want to seek promotion, I would have to move on, as there was no capacity internally for role development. That couldn’t be further from the truth here. I’ve been here just over a year, and I’m already having discussions about how I can push for promotion. I’m actively being championed for development, and this is backed up by Career Architect – basically an outline of competencies that should be achieved at each level of seniority. It’s incredible to be able to so clearly see where you’re aiming, and then have bespoke goals to get you there.

Do you feel supported by the business?

Absolutely. Builtvisible seems to always be reviewing processes to make workloads more manageable. There’s a real understanding that agency life is full-on, and safeguards need to be in place to prevent overload. Everyone has their own capacity, and pushing someone beyond their limit only causes problems in the long run. I had to deal with some health scares in my family earlier on this year, and immediately had others step in to take things off my plate. I honestly didn’t have to worry about work at all – it was so reassuring.

What are your hopes for the department and agency for the year ahead and future?

We’re growing! It’s always exciting to be part of a business that’s growing, especially when it’s being done in a sustainable way. It’s not growth for the sake of it – it’s simply because more clients want to work with us! I’m hopeful we can attract more and more interesting brands, and interesting hires. We had a ‘blue-sky thinking’ session earlier this year where we talked about which brands we would love to work with. If we even got a couple of the names that were thrown around (and I reckon we will) it would lead to some incredibly exciting projects.

How would you describe your job to others in general, and to people who aren’t even in digital marketing?

Communication! My job is to ensure that everyone feels in the loop at every stage, and helping all parties to stay on track. It’s easier said than done. Sometimes it takes soft encouragement, other times a firmer hand. It’s about knowing the people you’re speaking to and what they will respond to best. Other than that, I would say there’s quite a bit of project management and ensuring things get done on time. I wouldn’t say I’m naturally the most organised person, but the job has given me the opportunity to find my own way to handle lots of spinning plates.

How would you describe your client relationships?

Every relationship is different, but I try and work towards the scenario where everyone has their guard down. I find that after a few months, there’s a point where it feels like one team working together, rather than two sides trying to impress the other. I love when enough trust has been built that you can be totally (sometimes brutally!) honest with a client and they’re happy to take it on board. We’re all sounding ideas out together, and although it’s professional, it can almost feel like catching up with friends. I love finding out what’s going on in my clients’ lives – there are so many interesting people in this industry!

Lastly, what’s your proudest client moment to date?

We’re supporting Specsavers in a really exciting migration at the moment. There’s been lots of moving parts, and loads of teams involved from regions all over the world. We’ve had a key part to play and every team we’ve interacted with have been extremely grateful for our input. We’ve been entrusted with creating presentations for global meetings and have even pulled together decks for their C-suite. All in all, we’re having a real impact, which is always good to see – plus they’re great fun to work with! We have a lot of laughs on our weekly calls.

Builtvisible is currently expanding its Client Services department and actively seeking talented individuals who can make significant impact. Head over to our careers page and we’ll be in touch soon.

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