5 ways to be a world-class account manager
Imagine that you’ve entrusted your brand to a digital marketing agency and something goes wrong during your campaign. The visuals aren’t great. The copy is off-brand. The response is bland. Who will be the first point-of-call? That’s right, the agency’s account manager.
Bridging the all-important gap between the creative, content and the client is a tough task; so it’s crucial for account managers to be at the very top of their game. New to the industry, or looking to brush up on your skills? Here are five tips to help you succeed in this role:
1. Stay on trend
As important as it is to understand the clients’ brand story, it is equally important to understand the latest trends. This will allow you to be upfront about what can be done, and more importantly, what can’t! Especially if it is something that doesn’t sit well with the clients’ objective.
2. Director of communications
In a digital agency, very little finds its way via paper trail. In fact, little-to-no handwriting ever takes place. However email is essential for client communication, so that all role players can be copied in. But when it comes to internal comms, Slack is something we can’t live without here at Yellow Door. It gives us the ability to instant message team members about multiple projects/ tasks simultaneously. We can even direct-message if need be. So, being proficient at communicating with your team must come as second nature!
3. The pre-work(out) is essential
Prior to meeting a client, it is crucial to prepare as much as possible. This puts you in a strong position to answer questions and give advice. If possible, try to have a few suggestions ready on hand to present. It shows that you’re on top of your game! Don’t forget to clarify who’s doing what before wrapping up the meeting. And take minutes/ notes so that you can send a concise summary to all parties involved within 24 hours of the meeting.
4. Be the ‘pro’ in proactive
It’s easy to react when something is brought to your attention – especially if it’s negative; but be a step ahead and take a proactive approach in everything you do. Whether it’s research on a hot new trend, or letting your client know about a potential customer complaint, it goes a long way to cementing that relationship and proving your worth.
5. The master in crisis
It’s easy to shift from supporter to blamer when things are rocky. And by rocky, I mean when a client voices their dissatisfaction with the quality of work delivered. This is when differentiations are made between the ordinary and extraordinary account managers. It’s about being able to listen to the complaint properly, and engage with all parties involved (in a calm & professional manner). Finally, once you understand the details of everything, follow that up by doing the due diligence.
If the agency made a mistake – own up to it and apologise. And if there was a misunderstanding rather than a mistake, make sure everyone is on the same page. Don’t be afraid to make yourself heard – the most important thing is to be honest.
Great account management involves an understanding that you are juggling two relationships: one with the client, and one with the agency team. The best account managers always know how far the team can be pushed, and when it’s time to back down; and take the time to really develop meaningful relationships with each client.
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