As Client Director, David Franklin is the connecting point between our clients and our interdisciplinary team at Qindle. After just over 6 months into his role, we sit together to discuss what makes Qindle a great partner to work with, the value that client management adds to our clients, and how to build collaborative long-term working relationships.
What attracted you to Qindle?
I’ve worked for larger and more long-standing agencies for most of my career and so the prospect of joining a smaller, more streamlined company was something I was looking for. Qindle turned 5 this year and for me that’s an exciting stage of the journey to be able to join and help shape the future.
A large part of Qindle’s success has been the flexibility and open-mindedness with which we work with clients. The variety of projects, disciplines, and skillsets within one small team is impressive. I’ve always been a generalist myself, and the curiosity and eagerness to continue to learn matches well with the entrepreneurial spirit Qindle has.
Any company is only as good as its people, and I’ve been immediately impressed at the responsibility, drive and talent throughout our team. I’ve very much felt at home since day one and excited for that to continue.
Any company is only as good as its people
What is your role as Client Director?
Firstly, it’s a new role for us. As the business grows, our clients and projects diversify and our own team expands, we wanted to put some structure and consistency behind our consultancy model to make sure we continue to deliver value consistently across our clients.
My role is essentially to help connect the dots – to make sure we always keep the bigger picture in mind and seek proactive opportunities to up our game, while ensuring that the day-to-day planning and delivery runs smoothly.
As far as our clients are concerned, my focus is anticipating their needs and looking behind any given brief to ensure that we take the right approach to delivering to their business and brand objectives. This often means telling them what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear – so building close and collaborative relationships based on trust is important to me.
What’s the secret to client management?
It’s an inherently personal discipline since it’s largely about building relationships, but for me empathy is important. Clients want a partner that makes things simple, not overcomplicated, and that requires an understanding of how others work and how we can make their job easier.
Honesty is important too. A big part of the role is managing expectations, so being transparent and realistic about what is and isn’t possible is far more helpful than over promising.
In my experience, the biggest frustrations for clients are related to timing and attention to detail – we need to remember that clients rely on us to manage other people’s expectations. It’s ultimately about making them look good in front of their peers.
Creatives thrive when challenged and given the freedom to propose solutions.
What piece of advice would you give to clients working with creative agencies?
Try to give us problems to solve, rather than tasks to execute. Creatives thrive when challenged and given the freedom to propose solutions. If the focus is too narrow, you’ll miss out on unexpected and often more meaningful creative work.
Why do you think clients choose Qindle?
I think the quality of our work speaks for itself, but the reason we’ve been successful in building long term client relationships is primarily our solution-oriented approach and agility. We work together with our clients to solve problems and have a very grounded and pragmatic focus on driving business value.
We’re not process heavy – or rather, we don’t follow a standard way of working for the sake of process – and I think that’s appreciated. We focus on progress, iteration and refinement rather than trying to force a linear approach to creative development.