Client Services: A Team Effort at Luminus
It’s known that at Luminus, everyone on the team shares the workload and pulls their own weight. However, there’s a trio that keeps the company the well-oiled machine that it is.
(Not to compare the team to the Avengers, but…) Each person has their own strengths and characteristics: and when they assemble, great things can be achieved for the company and our clients.
Over the last six to nine months, owner and CEO, Tim Bouchard (like Nick Fury) began assembling this group together.
Phase One: Associate Creative Director
The plan began with the promotion of Tess Felton from Copywriter to Associate Creative Director in the fall of 2020. With a transition of company ownership looming in the winter of that year, Tess stepped up to the challenge. In addition to Tess’s promotion, she and Tim cultivated a copy department to produce even better results for our clients. Hiring the right people allowed Tess to focus on the bigger picture knowing that copy and content were in Liz Fuhrmann & Kellie Mazur’s experienced hands. Tess reflected, “Leaving copywriting behind was a challenge, because it’s how I came up through the industry. Turns out, Kellie and Liz bring so much talent to the department that the transition was much easier than I expected.”
Phase Two: Project Manager
The next step in the plan: hiring Jen Zimpfer as Luminus’s Project Manager. Up until that point, the team was sharing the responsibilities of managing their projects, looking to Jeff Quinn and Tess to do the bulk of management, however. As Jeff explained, “My original role kind of happened out of necessity. When you have a lot of your creative team presenting their own work, you need to take that project management off of their plate. We needed to support everyone while managing projects tightly.”
Jen was able to jump into her role from day one, starting in June 2021. She began her career in project management at the age of 22 at one of the biggest agencies in New York City, which Jen says set her up for success. “From day one, I felt like I would have a strong voice within the company and that was very thrilling for me. It finally took this move to know that not only am I a part of *a* team but taking a lead role on one, too,” Jen reflected.
Phase Three: Senior Account Executive
Once Jen was on board to handle project management, Jeff was able to quickly transition to a true account service role, with a promotion to match. This has allowed Jeff more facetime with clients, time to research and understand the industry trends, and plan areas of improvement for the future. Jeff explained, “When you have more time to just talk with clients or team members, it naturally allows you to come up with new ideas and recognize new trends. It opens you up to have more conversations to enhance the client experience.”
Jeff’s time has now been opened up, allowing him to gain a higher level of understanding when it comes to our clients, their needs, and where they could grow. His goal is to keep communication clean between the clients and the agency as a whole.
Letting the team kick ass
Now the team has been assembled and everyone knows what to do. Jeff advocates for the client, Jen advocates for the team, and Tess advocates for the work Luminus is doing to make sure that creatively and strategically we hit the mark. The team as a whole can now combine our talents to produce work that meets all of our clients’ needs.
Do you see Nick Fury jumping in the fray to fight alongside the Avengers? Rarely. (Sorry if we’ve lost non-Marvel fans here.)
The best part of having a kick-ass team is that the top guy can let everyone do what they do best. As Tess put it, “Tim is certainly at the point now where he can loosen the reins and trust everyone to do their jobs the way they need to be done. He is very much empowering us to work together in the way that best suits us. Tim works really hard to let us know we have the support that we need.”
Jen also added, “I have been encouraged by Tim and he gave me the green light for all the autonomy that I want. I get to decide how project management goes moving forward.”
All three members of the client services trio have their own separate charging orders, but they all need to be working closely together for it to work.
Jen, as the team advocate, knows when she should be pushing back against timelines to ensure the team has enough time, or nudging the group to accomplish work faster. Her focus is efficiency.
Clients always have a vision in their heads of what they’d like to see. It’s up to Jeff, along with Tess, to help the team produce work that they are proud of, that strikes a balance with the client’s original vision. Jeff’s focus is making sure our clients feel like they have enough individual attention and we make their ideas come to life.
Tess is a bit more true neutral between our clients and the team. She helps balance the strategy and the creative when it comes to project planning: when clients come with ideas, she can help figure out their needs and the best way to achieve them. Tess’s priority is making sure the team’s work meets those objectives.
As Jen explains, the trio walks a bit of a tightrope, “I have to walk a fine line when it comes to everyone’s role. Not everyone can come out of every situation 100 percent happy. We want everyone to come out at least somewhat satisfied, though. I respect the client’s side, I respect the team’s side.”
Tess also joked, “In some ways, Tim got lucky: Jeff and I work really well together. Our roles can sometimes be at odds– with Jeff speaking for the clients, and me trying to push to do cool stuff. Despite that, we’ve both been through it seeing each other at our most stressed out and we still like each other at the end of the day.”
With great power comes great responsibility
This trio ultimately doesn’t want power: they want a happier client and a more efficient outcome. Jen said, “Becoming the Project Manager at Luminus has given me the power that I’ve always craved, but in the healthy way, though! It’s not about one-upping people; you utilize the power and share it. At the end of the day, it’s all about the success of the business.”
With everyone in position, you may notice projects are moving a bit more efficiently and Luminus is getting ahead of conversations. We have plans and processes we’re putting into place to make sure we’re moving as smoothly as possible.
Now that there’s multiple people handling projects, that means there will be a more orchestrated, efficient workflow in place to get them done in a timely manner. We’re also better able to uncover areas of improvement more quickly because we have someone dedicated to doing that. Being ahead of business goals allows the Luminus team to be a lot more proactive rather than reactive with our clients.
With that being said though, we want a process that works. If it’s not working, we will be transparent and work to change it.
While this team doesn’t fight crime, they certainly fight for the clients and Luminus as a whole. With Jeff, Jen, and Tess leading the charge, you can rest assured that Luminus will be putting out great work that everyone is happy with.