In technical terms, account management is a structured process to manage and develop customer relationships. This is done to maximize profits, achieve meaningful goals, and build customer trust.
It involves providing customers with service, support, and opportunities for improvements or expansions that increase product or service consumption and increase retention. Simply put, account management is about getting to know your customers better and gaining their trust.
They have trusted you enough to buy your product or service, but that doesn’t mean they will forever. To maintain their trust, you must innovate and provide value. Account management includes directing the use of products, providing ongoing training and providing customer service.
What is the role of an account manager?
An account or customer manager achieves the goals described above by developing relationships with customers. They want to understand the inner workings of their jobs and what their goals might be. If they do this well, they can act as advisors to guide business decisions, answer questions, and hopefully sell other products and services to customers.
Why is account management important?
Every company knows that it costs more to find and acquire new customers than to satisfy your current customers.
Unlike sales jobs that are for short-term profit, an account manager focuses on the long-term. Sure, you can invest more in your customer support offering and let them call anyone. However, that doesn’t build trust or loyalty. It is more of a business relationship than you are set up as a supplier.
Good account management means becoming a consultant. You act as an extension of their team, and they trust that you will guide their decisions well and have their best interests at heart. If you do it right, you will have a satisfied customer for many years. This means you will receive the rewards of recurring revenue, the ability to sell products and other service lines, and hopefully referrals that will help generate more business.
How account management differs from company to company
SaaS account management
Many companies focus on having account managers sell other service lines to increase the average revenue per recurring customer over time. Loyalty is often their priority, but getting a customer to buy something from their environment will bring them more revenue and more trust.
Asset management account management
The best account managers have the highest retention because of the deep relationships they have with the few clients they have.
Those with fewer accounts have higher net worth, more accounts per household, and 7% of the lowest. Here, the account manager not only focuses on portfolio performance but also on understanding each family’s goals.
Media account management
The account manager will act on behalf of their client’s business to monitor campaign performance and oversee project progress, and new sources. They will work within the client’s budget and time constraints to improve efficiency and improve client relationships by delivering consistent results.
Health account management
The account manager acts as a liaison between the customer and the main healthcare provider or hospital. This means negotiating contracts, getting the best products and making sure the customer has everything they need.