The Client Relationship Is Not At All About Numbers: Sandip Maiti, CEO & Co-Founder, Experience Commerce

I love the fact that my clients enjoy the passion I bring to the table. They indulge me a bit – knowing very well that sometimes I get carried away!


As the head of the organization, how are you handling the pandemic situation created around us due to Corona Virus?

I am handling it with pragmatism and a deep sense of social responsibility. There is an overload of information but very little guidance on what is the right way to act. So, I am driving basis gut feel, sensitized by some hard-hitting facts and perspectives from friends and colleagues who I consider mature and responsible. Sometimes I am making the wrong moves but retracting without any shame. Honesty is the key to handling COVID-19. Empathy for all, not just our staff but support team down to the one who opens the shutters daily. Time is of the essence here, and every move we make with swiftness ensures a safer future for all. I am in constant communication with my staff. I start and end the day nudging them with facts and insights and asking the hard question. Already I have learned so much by this 24x7 AMA, that as a leadership team we decided we will huddle every day to decide the next course of action.

What is that one thing you always keep in mind to make your clients happy?

The one thing that overrides everything else is our manic focus on understanding how we can add value to our customer's business. It is easy to get swayed by tactical planning – where a client is likely to ask, “Let’s do a challenge on TikTok” but our response is “Why? Tell us the problem you want to solve, and we will come back with the right solution.” We build strong relationships with business/category heads who may not have comfort marketing on new mediums, and that is an added plus when dealing with our clients.

Our proactive approach to the solution might start with communications but ends with solving for a specific CX (Customer Experience) or adding a platform piece to manage partners or even managing a POS (point-of-sale) innovation. It is this holistic ability to transform the marketing solution and deliver the end-pieces that makes our client really happy. We are a no-excuses agency with the capacity to deliver upon a vision and that really helps - the no excuses bit!

What are the major challenges are you facing?

We have the challenge of being inspired by every disruption in digital technology, media platforms and content formats to bring an integrated solution for our customers. It is the problem of plenty and being a small team, we find it hard to build a practice. That is frustrating on occasions because we don’t find enough time and funding for every practice that we crack open with successful case studies. Most of our digital transformation stories are thus shelved untold. Marketing ourselves is a key challenge that we are trying to crack.

As the technology or AI is taking over, what changes are you foreseeing in this particular area of work?

The biggest change that will come is in tools that aid work. Why labor with day-long efforts at creating video when a semi-smart tool can patch together dozens in a matter of minutes. Why not use an AI tool to come up with 20 different naming combinations than waste time of a lead copywriter? Changing behavior internally to adopt such tools is a challenge. Clients are drawn to hype whenever they see competition PR using AI or ML. Everyone wants a piece of the action with a Chatbot. So yes, there is a lot of hype in early adoption which will get drowned in the trough of disillusionment. We are looking forward to using AI on the plateau of productivity. Use AI to make internal processes productive and the same goes for client processes. Can AI be used to deliver superior CX? I think once the dust settles that is the direction, we will all move in.

What do you love the most about working and helping your clients?

I love the fact that my clients enjoy the passion I bring to the table. They indulge me a bit – knowing very well that sometimes I get carried away!

All our clients treat us as business partners and not as execution agencies. That is a BIG thing, I must tell you, in this day and age. We command a lot of respect for our maturity and that gives us a big kick! A client relationship is not about numbers at all – sure profitability is a key target but not at the cost of failure of their business. We have an agency value that we will make as many changes as needed until it meets our client’s needs.

We have GOOD clients. They are good people who help us at every given opportunity. Sure, there have been bad apples but overall, I love working with our clients because they pull us through – they may challenge us, but they also show the way. I have personally learned the whole game of branding by working with some of the best names in the country and I am indebted to them!

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