The key to successful account management is great organization, time management, and good listening skills. Managing multiple accounts can be a daunting task if you do not have the tools in place to keep your responsibilities in check. Some of the questions you may ask yourself in planning out your tasks may be, what does the client expect from me, how can I meet their expectations, what are the deliverables I owe the client, how can I show the client the value of my services.
What does the client expect from me?
Clients expect that you keep their best interests in mind. They expect you to listen to them. As digital marketing experts, it’s the account managers’ responsibility to provide marketing strategies, recommendations and a well organized plan to help them reach their goals. Clients expect communication! In addition to regularly scheduled calls, you should be checking in with clients in between these calls. Send them an article of interest or see if there is anything they need. It’s important that they know you are there and ready to assist.
How can I meet the expectations of my clients?
To meet their expectations, the most important thing you can do is to really understand your client. Listen to what they say. You must understand their needs and goals, their market and what they have available for their consumers. It is only after this clear understanding that you can successfully put a plan into action.
What are the deliverables I owe the client?
Your client has a need to know and understand how they are performing. One of the key deliverables to provide your client with is monthly and weekly reports. Reports reflect their performance and are a clear measure of whether or not they are achieving their goals. In addition to providing these reports, a clear understanding of them is vital. Requests made by the client are also considered deliverables and should be provided on a timely basis. As their marketing specialist, you should be providing strategies based on their needs, information on what their competitors are doing, changes occurring in the industry, and above all, a marketing plan for the year. A marketing plan is key in providing suggestions throughout the year and with specific dates outlined in the plan, it keeps the client on track for the deliverables they owe you, i.e. holiday menus or specials.
How can I show the client the value of my services?
By showing a clear understanding of their goals and offering suggestions to reach those goals, you are showing the value of your services. However, more importantly is sharing with the client the positive outcomes of your strategies. That is where the true value lies. Having a keen insight to the industry and the changes that occur shows the client your awareness and expertise in preparing them for the effects they may feel.
As account managers, once you have these questions answered you can put your plan into action and figure out how you will manage the tasks involved to be successful. Some valuable tips include, using a calendar to trace out important dates and for scheduling, recording all emails, phone calls and voicemails, preparing an agenda prior to calls, subscribing to industry newsletters to keep up with the latest trends, and keeping a checklist of tasks pertaining to each client to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Find what works best for you and follow through and you’ll see how manageable your accounts can be.