Way back when, businesses could retain customers just based on the success of a project. Today, project success is only part of the equation. Relationship building is essential for keeping customers—and keeping them happy.
Creating strong customer relationships is a top responsibility for any account manager. At LMD, our account managers have both internal and external responsibilities. Internally, account managers serve as project managers, and must have a firm grasp on the client project’s scope, budget, resources, personnel, and timeline—and be able to communicate that information to the agency’s internal team. Externally, account managers nurture client relationships, with the goal of being our client’s long-term partner.
Like any relationship, communication between the account manager and our client is the key to a strong partnership. As the project team works on deliverables, the account manager establishes a cadence of communication with the client throughout the project lifecycle that includes monthly, weekly, and even daily touch to update the client on project progress. These touch points also give the client the opportunity to provide feedback on deliverables that may have been sent for review.
Of course, sometimes there are bumps in the project lifecycle. When a problem arises, it’s critical for the account manager to listen to the client’s concerns, show empathy, and come up with solutions. Demonstrating that we understand the client’s frustration opens the door for further discussion, consensus building, creative thinking, and problem resolution. And again, communication—clear, transparent, two-way communication—is crucial to getting the project to the finish line successfully.
Here are three tips that you can use to strengthen your relationship with your account manager:
- Provide your account manager with as much information as possible about your organization, brand, product, or initiative. This includes past research, marketing materials, strategic plans—basically anything and everything that will help them get to you know your organization better.
- Before the project officially starts, have an open discussion with your account manager about the project’s scope of work. Go over it together in detail. Doing so gets everyone on the same page and creates a clear path forward.
- Know that the project may encounter detours and challenges. Things come up and sometimes the project needs to pause or go in a different direction. A skilled account manager can pivot easily, adapt to changing priorities, and guide the project back on track. If something comes up that requires a change in project scope, your account manager will tell you about any modifications to the project budget and/or timeline.
At LMD, we view every client relationship as a partnership. Our success is your success. Have a new project that you’d like to talk to us about? Contact LMD.