Hi, I’m Charlotte, the Account Manager here at Punch. In this blog, I’m sharing my top three skills needed in order to successfully manage client accounts.
Without this skill, it’s simply impossible to manage one account, let alone multiple. The role involves spinning lots of plates and being fully aware at all times of everything that is happening and when it’s happening. You always need to think ahead and plan successfully to ensure you can stay on top of each account and project. Factoring in buffer or contingency time when developing timing plans is always advisable. That way, you can avoid missing deadlines and upsetting clients. It’s always better to overdeliver than over-promise.
Checklists, colour coding and maintaining up-to-date status documents really support staying organised. Trello is a great tool to use to help plan your workload and add tasks for yourself in order of priority. Tom’s Planner is the dream for project plans and Gantt charts are also simple and easy to use.
Clear and concise communication is crucial. Clients need to be fully aware of timeframes, deadlines, budgets and should be informed immediately if these change at any point along the way. As everyone has different preferences for communications methods (e.g., via Basecamp, email, text, or phone) it is important when working with a new client to check their preferences and find out what works best for them before getting started – that way you can work together as efficiently as possible.
Not only is communication important with clients, but it’s also critical within your team. Lots of campaigns and projects run across multiple services and departments. Ensuring everyone is kept informed of deadlines and changes is imperative to keep things running smoothly. Not only does this result in successful projects, but also great working relationships and team morale. Be as communicative with your team as you are with clients.
3. Relationship building
Client relationships are super important and can make a huge difference in your role day-to-day. They need to feel they can trust you, depend on you and really see you as an extension of their team. In order to be successful at this, showing a genuine interest in their business – and understanding what challenges they are facing – is a really good start.
Once a client feels you are reliable and that you care, they become more receptive and open to what you can offer and support them with – perhaps even an area of their business which they didn’t acknowledge needed assistance. Developing these relationships is a continual process that is built up over time. Great client relationships really do result in great work and that feeling of success at the end of a campaign. They can also lead to new business referrals should they recommend you to a colleague.
Not only are client relationships important but also those within your organisation. As an Account Manager, you are the centre of all comms and the main point of contact for pretty much everyone within the agency – therefore getting on with everyone is key. If you have good working relationships with your colleagues, this will make your job a whole lot easier and enjoyable.
Having good working relationships also allows you to be open and honest which is needed upon reviewing work. You need to have the ability and confidence to push back and question if something doesn’t seem quite right. Our job is to challenge and really get the best out of the expert team we have.
To sum up…
- Ensure everyone including both clients and colleagues are in the know
- Clearly outline roles and responsibilities
- Be proactive and suggest new ideas and solutions
- Anticipate next steps and always think ahead e.g. can we elevate this campaign in any way?
- Plan, plan, plan!
Ultimately, great Account Management is being able to successfully plan and multitask whilst providing great solutions for our clients.
Thanks for reading!