Mission Impossible. Possible
“Hi buddy! I want to challenge you with a bit of writing for the blog. The topic is Customer Experiences from a Key Account Perspective”. These words from our CMO on Friday afternoon made my weekend a nightmare ☺
I’m always up for a challenge but my first reaction was that this is going to be a disaster. I’m the guy who used to play poker for a living for 11 years and spent my spare time playing ice hockey and football. What the hell can I write that makes sense? I don’t consider myself a “writer” and I’m not a typically key account manager either. When I show up for a meeting you won’t see groomed hair, a suitcase or a blazer. You’re going to face a big beard, no front teeth and a body-type that looks more like a UFC-fighter. Maybe this was the exact reason I was asked to do this?
I think the best part of my job is the feeling I get when I can really help my customers to make a difference and then see it on their faces. My first step to get there is getting to know the person and figuring out what is her/his challenges. What are their priorities? Next step is to find the best possible way to help in each specific case.
As an example I will use a project I did with TBWA in the end of last year. I had not done a project like this before so it was a special one. Customer wanted “Ugly Christmas sweaters” with their own complex print pattern. They also needed written weaving instructions so people could make handmade sweaters by themselves. The biggest demand was that the sweaters should be made in Finland.
Needless to say, there were many challenges. Firstly we only had one month to do it all. Nobody in our production network knew who could successfully do these in Finland. Who could make sweaters as complex as requested, and planned? Who could make the instructions for handmade sweaters in this short amount of time? When the instructions are done, we also needed someone to make a handmade sweater for reference, all that in just one week!! Time was indeed a huge challenge and the fact that we had to coordinate with four different workshops to get everything done in correct order and time, was certainly real!
After about dozen phone calls I was able to find this one workshop of craftsmen that could make these unique and complicated sweaters, located in a small town called Lieto. This was the only place in Finland that could pull off the complex design, make the jumpers in high quality and in time. We were also able to find a place for unique labels; a woman who had the skills to do the weaving instructions and even a person how made one handmade sweater for us. It was used as an example picture for the final weaving instructions.
To speed up the process I met the craftsmen and studied everything I needed to know to make things super easy to my customer; the agency. Spesifically; How the printing files should be done so that they match the knots? Which strings should we use? What color of strings there are available? What options are there for the design? Where to order the strings? How much string we need? How much time does every step take?
After every necessary step I ordered the chosen strings and carried samples piece by piece to my customer as soon we had them ready. I took care of the logistics and tried to keep everything as simple for my customer as possible.
In the end we got everything done smoothly and in time. It was such a fun project and everyone involved were just amazing. When I handed over the very first sweaters to my customer, the hole office was there watching us. As Rosa opened the first package the room was full of big smiles and lot of impressed faces. I could not have been happier as I enjoyed the moment (with my new friend Rosa). That right there was that special feeling again. I felt like a UFC champion as I walked back to our office ☺
And that’s the way we do things at Framme! Making inspiration Actionable, on time, and according to expectation. No compromise.