Business owners spend what probably feels like a lifetime building their business and doing everything in their power to see it succeed. When they decide it is time to jump into the world of advertising, partnering with an agency can be intimidating. They are relying on experts to guide them in the right direction and elevate their brand. So, how can companies cultivate strong customer relationships? It is the Account Managers job to set the stage for a partnership built on communication and trust.
The first kick-off meeting is key to establishing a strong partnership. Here the best tips for account managers to start off on the right foot with a new client:
Familiarize Yourself With Their Business:
Do your homework! The client knows their business inside and out and so should the Account Manager. Before the first meeting it is important to read about the company and understand the business. Rather than having the client explain the business to you, you will already have an understanding which allows for a better conversation and the opportunity to ask questions. It doesn’t matter if you have 5 clients or 15, this shows that you took the time to become familiar with what they do and they will find comfort in knowing that you are making them a priority.
Gaining the trust of a client is one of the most important parts of your relationship. Remember, the client is coming to you for help so they want to work with someone who they can count on. Prove to the client that you care and are just as invested in their success as they are.
- Reply promptly to emails/follow up
- Show up on time for meetings
- Communicate progress
- Check in regularly
This shows a level of commitment and respect that will strengthen the partnership.
Figure Out What Their Goals Are:
Listen to what your client has to say. It is rare that they will come to you with no goals in mind. Whether it is to sell more of their product or service, increase their brand on social media, or build a new website, it is your job to understand what they imagine their end result to look like.
Once you have a solid understanding of their goals, come up with a plan of execution and map it out for the client so they have a project timeline to keep up with. They will appreciate the fact that you are making them a part of the process rather than keeping them in the dark. This also helps to build the foundation of trust mentioned above.
Maintain A Positive Attitude
As an Account Manager, you are always going to be faced with stressful situations. If something does not work out according to plan it can be a real bummer. It is your job to pivot and finds an even better solution. You never want to look at a project that doesn’t work out as a failure and you certainly don’t want the client to look at it that way. By maintaining a positive attitude you can express that there will be trial and error but show the client that you have a plan to bounce back.
Clients are excited about their business and want to see it succeed. If you show them that you feel the same it will put them at ease.
Whether you are new to the industry, working at a top marketing agency, or still struggling with the question of how companies cultivate strong customer relationships, following the best tips for account managers will ensure that you are on the right track. Do your homework, build trust, listen to their goals, and always keep a positive attitude, and you will have set the foundation for a wonderful partnership with your clients.
Kate Hartmaier, Account Manager