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What is Account Management?
According to Gartner Glossary, account management is:
“The practice of providing customers with a service, support and improvement opportunities to increase their consumption of a product or service.”
Account management focuses on developing relationships between a business and a customer. It is an opportunity for account managers to gain the trust and loyalty of a customer to nurture future sales opportunities.
Account management is prevalent in every industry. Used in B2B and B2C environments, account management is one of the most important aspects of sales and recruitment at AvA-V.
A large portion of sales is transactional. Establishing contact with a customer, pitching your product/service and closing a purchase is widely considered to be as such.
Account management is a relational process.
Account management focuses on developing relationships, organising touchpoints and keeping customers sweet.
So… what is account management going to do for my recruitment business?
Account management works the same in recruitment as in any other sector. It focuses on building relationships with customers, establishing regular meetings with clients and keeping them in the loop with progress.
To help you leap over the account management hurdle, AvA-V has put together some tips and tricks on what is account management, why it is important and the skills required to become a successful account manager.
Why is Account Management Important?
Good business is built on good relationships. If you can establish strong relationships with your business contacts, you will create more business opportunities.
Existing clients are more profitable than new clients. According to Paul Farris’ book Marketing Metrics, businesses have a 60 – 70% chance of selling to existing customers versus a 5 – 20% chance of selling to new customers.
Rather than wasting your time chasing new business, why not nurture your existing clients and harvest more business from them whilst the seeds have already been planted?
In short, account management is a catalyst that could save your business time and money.
If you’re looking to improve client retention, a solid account management foundation is essential.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a team of dedicated account managers. At AvA-V, each of our recruitment departments is trained in account management to keep track of their clients.
Account management is also essential for building customer loyalty. If you offer a customer a service/product and account manage them throughout the process, they will be more likely to work with your business again.
Account management is about being a reassuring voice and an advisor. Customers want to feel safe, secure and satisfied when they buy into a service.
Being a dedicated point of contact whom clients know they will regularly converse with boosts their satisfaction with your business.
So, we’ve established what is account management and why it is important for business growth, but what goes into being an account manager? What skills do you need to retain customers and keep them warm?
Whilst account management requires many varied skills, there are some essential skills that we believe no account manager can go without…
- Good listening and understanding
Good listening goes a long way when managing client accounts. Strong listening skills allow you to pick up on industry facts, personal insights, business ongoings and other minor details that may initially be withheld.
By noting down all of these different facts and then showing the customer that you paid attention to what they said, you can build trust and they may begin to share more details with you in future.
- Strong communication skills
Being the connecting bridge between client and company, a successful account manager must have unparalleled communication skills.
Being able to convey information in simple language and with a welcoming tone is a crucial segment of account management.
Whether your message is spoken or written, clear and concise communication is essential so that every party understands what is happening with business development.
If you wish to learn more about the importance of communication in recruitment, you can look at our blog on that topic right here. 👈
Successful account management is built upon the foundations of having the right personality. It’s all about having the confidence, charm and charisma to inform when asked: “What is account management going to do for me?”
AvA-V’s Top Tips
We understand that account management can appear to be challenging to those who are inexperienced in the field.
If you’ve recently started account managing and you’re left wondering: “What is account management and how do I do it?” we have some great tips for you!
One of the most important parts of account management is understanding the business you are working for.
Knowing their history, understanding the direction they are heading in, aligning yourself with their goals and communicating in-depth about their needs are essential aspects of good account management.
Being goal-orientated is another fantastic way to develop your account management skills. An account manager should constantly work towards goals, both business and individual.
Account managers are also judged both quantitatively and qualitatively, so you must emphasise the number of clients you contact each week and the quality of the contact you make.
Patience is also a vital skill for any account manager. Building bonds with clients won’t happen overnight. It may take a while for you to earn their trust. Don’t be afraid to bide your time and chip away at the client whenever you meet.
It can also be okay to break outside of the professional talk. If your client mentions that they have a birthday coming up, don’t be afraid to ask them if they enjoyed themselves!
The same goes for seasonal events such as Christmas and New Year! See clients as more than just business partners – try to see them as acquaintances or friends!
So… Can you Summarise What is Account Management?
Account management is a crucial part of any business. Account managers have two primary goals: retain business and grow those opportunities.
Rather than focusing on bringing new clients on board, an account manager is responsible for long-term growth via consistent communication.
In recruitment, account management can involve managing the balance between clients and candidates, ensuring that both parties are happy with the service they are receiving and scheduling regular meetings to keep the recruitment process moving smoothly.
At AvA-V, we use account management to maximise the contact that clients and candidates will experience.
As a recruitment agency, we place great value on the importance of account management. It allows our recruiters to balance their time between clients and candidates.
We pride ourselves on our stellar communication at AvA-V. Both clients and candidates are given a dedicated account manager throughout the process. You will always have a specific point of contact who will be ready to answer all of your questions.