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An account manager oversees the relationship between a business and their customers. They are responsible for determining the customers' needs and ensuring that each department of their company delivers on those needs.
5 Top Traits to Look for in a Good Account Manager
Top traits to look for in an account manager include:
Empathy and strong communication skills
Organization and preparedness
A door-busting closer
Account managers are the backbone of customer support. They’re your carte blanche to high-volume customer retention—and high revenue. Anyone can talk a big game, but how do you avoid the sales pitch when interviewing an account manager? What do you need to watch for when deciding on the best account manager to keep your books and customer relationships healthy?
These 5 top traits of a strong account manager will build your customer retention and your revenue.
Empathetic and a strong communicator
This is a no-brainer. After all, understanding your needs is how you link with a strong account manager in the first place. But it needs to be said: good account managers carry a conversation. Great account managers connect and empathize with your customers.
By honoring and listening to client demand, the right account manager will ensure customers’ needs are understood (then answered). As you sift through the stack of account managers trying to win you over, be on the lookout for signs of high emotional intelligence, such as being unafraid of change, highly self-aware, progress-focused, and a self-learner.
Customer-focused or service-oriented
We all know how supply and demand drive business. Account managers have to keep end-to-end operations in mind. Excellent account managers take time to convey to customers how well your company’s deliverable fits into the hands of a customer. They know how to help your business capitalize on the services your client wants most—as well as the unique value only you can offer those customers.
Customer account management isn’t just an act. It’s an extension of the empathy we spoke about above. And it’s a palpable, powerful tool all account managers should own. In your search for the perfect account manager, ask the right questions during the hiring process: Was there a time a customer was wrong? How did the account manager handle the situation? You’ll discover from their answer precisely how customer-oriented they are.
Organized and prepared
We’ve all been there. From pressing deadlines to timebound requests, everyone gets swamped with handling information at some point.
Account managers thrive on handling a large volume of customers. Exercising their communication skills en masse is a feat, but not compared to the organizational skills they need to stay on top of hundreds or thousands of contacts.
Every account manager needs to be proactive and prepared with their affairs in order. They treat each customer like their only customer—not simply as a tactic. Account managers spread influence: they want to find willing people who will champion your organization til their voices crack.
If you’re not feeling like a one-and-only in your account management relationship, it’s time to whip out the dating app and hunt for a better match.
Customer account management isn’t for the faint of heart. Ask yourself: are they a problem solver or a problem finder? Issues will often arise, posing new challenges to customer relationships. You’ll know a great account manager by their grit. They must be willing to roll up their sleeves to find a solution—no matter how daunting or dire the problem appears.
The wonderful thing about this? Where others might see a problem as a cataclysmic catastrophe, account managers tend to see issues as a fun puzzle they can’t wait to solve. You’ll want that creative enthusiasm on your side, starting with the right choice of account manager.
SEE: Our customer's success story
Speaking of gumption…You want someone who anticipates when to ask for referrals or more business—an account manager who’s a closer and isn’t afraid to ask for more. They have no qualms with rejection because—here’s the deepest motive of all— business growth is their topmost goal.
Perhaps there’s some inner satisfaction from achieving the daredevil moves that only account managers will attempt. But the crux is: account managers grow when you grow. That mutual benefit is why seizing bigger business opportunities and serving your company or product is so important.
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