The Challenges Developing into a Customer-Facing Role
When I started at Gather Social, my role focused purely on content creation for clients, however throughout my time at the agency, I have developed my confidence a lot, both personally and professionally, and this has caused a natural move towards a customer-facing role.
I have always been a people person and had good organisational and time management skills, but during my position at Gather Social, I have improved these skills and been able to practically apply them to industry situations.
When working solely on the content creation side of the business, my drive and energy came from the client communication and feedback at the other end of the sign-off process; I like knowing I’ve done a good job, exceeded a brief, and made ideas a reality for a business. Even though the transition into a customer-facing role was in some ways decided for me, it was a decision I wouldn’t have made this early on for myself. It was and has been, so refreshing to be believed in to take on more responsibility within the company, especially the responsibility of conversing directly with customers.
I never felt truly ready for the extra responsibility, but the whole development process reiterated to me how much I underestimate myself in my career and how much other people trust me to take on more, and maybe I should start listening to them and not the little voice in my head telling me no.
I surprised myself with how easily I took to the role, and how much I enjoyed it. My natural organisational and project management skills came into play and made for a relatively smooth transition. One of the challenges I faced in the new role at the start was organising and distributing client work for others within the creative team. As I worked alongside everyone in the creative team, it was abnormal to allocate work to them, however, working alongside them also worked in my favour as I knew the team, their strengths, and their content creation preferences. As I was in no position to dictate, I found the most appropriate and collaborative way to distribute the work was to speak to the team and ask what they wanted to do, which was a new way of working from previous management.
On the rare occasion, I have had to be the first point of contact to receive difficult feedback from clients and criticism about content, but as a positive and objective person, I have found it has come naturally to compartmentalise negative feedback and offer help and support to the client to resolve it. It is sometimes that when I receive criticism that the imposter syndrome kicks in and I wonder if I’m a good fit for the role and the responsibilities it comes with, but it has also become practice to recognise these feelings only come occasionally after an uncertain meeting with a client, and is the imposter in me creeping up.
I love how my role has developed and how I have been given a breadth of responsibility within the year that I have been working at Gather Social, and I look forward to client meetings and developing the relationships and trust I have with them.
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