Things Your Account Managers Are Doing Wrong and How To Fix Them
We all know how hard it is to find customers. Converting leads and prospects often takes more than a few days or even months.
So keeping hold on the existing customers is one most important objective that we all dream of, for keeping our businesses running hale and hearty over time.
But, keeping all your customers happy is not also an easy task. So, when customers are unhappy, it usually has more to do with your sales team and your account manager’s communication and relationship than anything to do with the actual work.
Some minor missteps may always be an excuse that could have blown up a relationship with your customer. But more often than not- it’s just an excuse and not the main cause.
According to some of the famous online influencers in sales and marketing, it has been noted that over 95% of the time, when accounts go sour, there is always an account manager in the process, who is guilty of at least more than one of these traits:
Over-pleasing the Customer
Agency people are often blamed for being people pleasers. There are even many who may care more for their customers than they do think about making profits for their agency.
This is exactly where the trouble begins.
When being admired is the goal, your account manager can be involved doing work for free.
The customer puts in a new deadline, and your account manager can be eager to make everyone in his team to work overtime to fulfill the customer’s goal.
In other words, the customer drops the ball and your manager picks it up.
However, in most of the cases, these extra work never gets translated into extra billing.
So if you find that your billable ratio and top line sales are plummeting down because some account manager is paying more attention to a certain customer, put an instant check on it, as this can be one major reason for less business development in your agency.
Worse than this, under these circumstances, customers often feel that your work is worth less than you are charging, for else why would you do so much for no additional cost?
Now, if this said account manager leaves or is re-assigned, the customer will surely complain that your fees are too high or your services has slipped- spelling serious trouble in maintaining business and customer relationship.
Just Unable to Say No
A close cousin to the people pleasing account managers are managers who just cannot say "NO".
Although the manager may swear to you that he did. But you may not get a knowledge of this problem till the time you are performing a retainer review, when you will find that all projects for a customer have gone over budget and so you are loosing on your profits on this retainer.
You can also most often find that under this circumstance the scope of work has changed, with no revision in the order and budget.
So, when account managers get too close to the customer’s team, loyalties often gets confused and the motivation to keep the customer happy can over-ride your profits.
When account managers make this type of mistake, organizations go through challenging times to stop it and there is also a 50-50 chance that you will most often lose the customer when your manager do so.
Not Being Truthful
Well, over here we are not talking about outrageous lies or fraud, we are talking about situations when you bite your tongue, because you are not ready to handle the fallout, if you tell your client the whole truth.
Mostly in these cases account managers tries to put on a marketing band-aid while addressing such problems, which makes the customer feel disappointed when the campaign rolls out.
So in fear offending the customer, never allow your account manager to make short term peace, which can add some bad name to your business portfolio that you will not be proud of.
Encourage your account managers to make hard calls- a good customer will always respect you for that.
Using Overtly Effusive Communication
It is always nice to tell your customers how much you love their business or what you have done for them to develop a strong relationship, but effusive compliments made by account managers on mediocre results often leads to disastrous consequences.
For an example, when account managers who counts on personal charisma to wow their customers fails to deliver results and have to leave the company, clients often feel that they are duped and then feel angry.
In this circumstance the client easily perceives that the account manager’s enthusiasm and compliments were insincere. So do not entertain account managers who use effusive communication with the customers unless they have proved their worth in the company.
There is always a difference between throwing your team under the bus and accepting responsibility for your agency’s errors.
Account managers who always blame and shame their team mates often compromises the trust of their team.
Customer relationships are also often doomed when account managers undermines their colleagues. This happens because, when customers become aware of the manager’s bullying tactics, they create mountains out of molehills by demanding billing concessions and extra work.
Stay on Equal Footing
Last but not the least, never allow your account manager to confuse a customer’s feedback with your company’s intrinsic values and abilities.
Educate your account managers that best campaigns come about when both the agency and the customer see each other in equal terms. Never allow your account managers to put the agency in a subservient role.
Now that you know about the habits of a toxic account manager- Put a red alert to make your managers stay out of these practices. Since if your manager is up to any of these you can be sure that your next account is doomed as well.
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Glory oversees the reseller channel. She has a business accounting degree and has worked in sales, within real estate and professional leasing, at Deloitte & Touche (one of the top five accounting firms), retail management, and within the high-tech software industry (POS and CRM). She is excellent with relationships and is well respected within the reseller channel.