Since moving into my current role as Account Manager at LogicSpot six months ago, I have noticed there are several key skills needed in order to be able to effectively manage client expectations and meet their needs, both during a project as well as on an ongoing basis with support contract clients.
I’ve listed out four skills which I have found to be vital during my time as Account Manager at LogicSpot. They are by no means all the required skills and I haven’t listed them in any particular order. All clients are different and each require the ability to adapt the management approach dependent upon the specific relationship.
1. Customer Focus
Whilst it might seem like a bit of an obvious point to start with, the importance of being customer-focused cannot be underestimated. Without this, gaining a clients’ trust will not be achievable. As an Account Manager, it’s important to be able to build a solid relationship with the client.
Understanding a client’s business, their goals and how they work and how we can best serve them is paramount. We only have a handful of customers each – that gives us the ability to get to know them really well.
We’re enthusiastic about clients businesses and ensure that they know we have their best interests at heart, rather than just the pay cheque. By building this trusting relationship, decision making and a shared vision will be much easier to achieve. We see ourselves as an extension of client resources and part of their team, rather than an external supplier on the outside.
We also talk with our clients about the importance of ecommerce customer service for their businesses.
2. Communication! Communication! Communication!
The ability to communicate with people from all levels, both internally and externally, is an incredibly important aspect of Account Management. Being able to listen effectively during project scoping is vital to understanding the client’s requirements. Equally, keeping the communication channels open during the project allows the client to feel like they can ask questions along the way and ensures that they are kept up to date with the progress of their project.
One way we do this is weekly reports including the timeframe of the work. In a perfect world, projects would go exactly according to plan. Unfortunately, in reality this rarely happens, approval times change, scope shift, people fall ill … you name it. Effective and regular communication allows Account Managers to discuss anything in an open forum with the clients – and together you’ll be able to come up with a solution.
3. Integrity – Follow through with promises/deadlines
In my experience, no one likes to be kept waiting. A key part of Account Management is managing the client’s expectations. Give realistic timeframes and stick to them! If in doubt, tell the client that you will get something to them later rather than earlier. It’s always better to deliver early rather than go back and say it will be later.
By consistently demonstrating integrity to the client trust is gained and the relationship strengthens.
When managing multiple projects, organisation is key. As Account Manager, it’s important to ensure deadlines are met and make sure everyone knows their role and what’s coming up next. Being able to multi-task and track overall project progress is a vital skill. At the end of the day – managing all LogicSpot staff (so creative, developers, testers, and more) as well as the client is the role of Account Manager; and when managing multiple accounts To Do lists are your best friend!