For most businesses, a huge 80% of their future profits come from just 20% of their existing clients so it would make sense that you treat these highly valuable assets with care.
Sometimes strategic account management (SAM) can fall astray, all businesses understand that they need it, but keeping it at the front of your mind when important deadlines are coming up, your inbox is overflowing and your ambition for more customers grows day by day.
With 82 percent of consumers in the United States saying that they stopped doing business with a company due to a poor client experience, it’s clear that for your business to remain profitable then it’s crucial that you take account management seriously. We believe that by no means is the work done, when the sale closes, especially when you’re running a service-based business.
Part of our goal here at Affluent.co is to promote absolute best practice in everything that we do and in turn hopefully help other business owners do the same. We’re sharing our 5 golden rules of managing your clients effectively and professionally, from our fantastic Accounts Manager himself, Tom Kieran.
Routine - ultimate productivity for me I think comes from planning my day the night before. Spending 10 minutes in the evening planning for the following day will ensure you start on the right foot from the get-go and stay on track with your workload for each client. It’ll also help you avoid procrastination & get you feeling positive as you physically tick off your list throughout the day.
Transparency - the act of being open, honest, and straightforward about your operations, is paramount for a good relationship with your customers, this includes communicating the good and the bad. Sometimes, especially in marketing, strategies might not produce the result you were hoping for, and mistakes can happen, but leading with honesty makes a whole world of difference and in turn, actually makes it so much more enjoyable to work with your customers. Keep a detailed track of all the goings-on and dedicate time each week to communicate what is, and maybe isn’t working so that clients feel in the loop at all times. More importantly, this helps ensure similar mistakes don’t happen again and that leads me on to my next tip
Time blocking - a productivity technique that I’ve always used, it’s a system where you mark out time in your calendar to work on specific tasks. Not only does this make sure that I’m leaving myself with enough time to get jobs done but it also communicates to the rest of the team exactly when I’m busy and what specifically I’m busy doing, In turn, the team works seamlessly together. Google Calendar is a great tool for this. I would always recommend blocking out time for each client even if you’re not actively working on something for them, it’s a good way of allowing time to just check in with them and work on building the relationship
Organisational Applications - you can’t rely on just your memory to keep track of each customer and your dealings with them, so I use Trello Board and Google Sheets to store information about each of our clients. Including but not limited to, key information about their businesses, a timeline of events, strategies that have worked and haven’t worked and any offers they’ve run or plan on running, and basically anything that I deem relevant to the service we are providing. I also think it’s important to have a clear go-to place to store all goings-on so that we can clearly communicate it with our clients especially as each client is at different stages of their journey with us. I swear by both of them and really couldn’t live without them.
Communication - good communication with your clients goes back to the transparency point a little, but finding the right communication tool to suit your business is key. Businesses don’t just need to use a generic email address to contact their customers, if social media or WhatsApp works better then that’s fine too, just pick something you’re confident you’ll use every day and suits your target audience. We personally manage most of our client communication via WhatsApp & our clients absolutely love the fact that we’re always so accessible. You want to have a contact function that allows you to become an extension of your customer’s network
Having a systematic approach to client account management is great and works very well for very large corporate businesses, but the key is to be personable, honest, and constantly strive to go above and beyond for your clients if you want to really make an impression. At the end of the day the better you understand your customers the more responsive you can be to their needs.