Proactive, Not Reactive – Lessons from INFLECTIONpoint

I just got back from Covario’s INFLECTIONpoint conference. INFLECTIONpoint is a 2-day conference Covario puts on for their clients to keep them up-to-date on what the hot trends for the upcoming year will be. Most of you who know me know how much I love my “I [heart] SEO” coffee travel mug. It was a Covario expo hall tchotchke. So, Covario knows how to do things right.

The event was amazing. I had a chance to learn a great deal of information and met some great people. Perhaps the most interesting people I met were Covario’s clients. I’ve worked for agencies before and ran my own for many years. So, it’s always interesting to hear what other brands think of their agencies. I was astounded by the truly impressive accolades Covario received. Time and time again, every one of Covarios big-brand clients all had nothing but praise. Proactive Definition

I was amazed at the one word that kept coming up: proactive.

Each of the brands I talked with discussed how Covario was on top of things before the brand even thought about them. Site redesigns, new product launches, changes in tagging, you name it. Covario had the plan laid out before the client even needed to think about it. Every time.

This really got me to thinking. Too many times we get stuck in a pattern of behavior. We are complacent to chase down issues as they’re presented and run around putting out fires. I think this is often more true in an agency. Each client gets a set allocation of time each month for campaigns and ancillary tasks. If a client decides to do something new at the last minute, everyone needs to scramble to reshuffle the plans for the week. This causes a lot of responses and actions that are reactive to a situation. These reactive tasks continue after the fact, because of poor planning or undocumented procedures.

Customer service should mean more than simply reactive to a client’s needs. I was immensely impressed with how with-it and agency can be. Each of their clients loved their response time. Each marveled at how Covario’s team seemed to anticipate their actions and be right with them every step of the way.

Why aren’t we all more like that?