We know you love your job.
You login to your computer and read what’s new in the industry, and think of ways to achieve your client’s paid search goals. But, this effort and time you spend is never seen, and without having a good communication line with your clients, you will struggle to retain them.
A strong business mind will tell you: selling is half the story; the rest is maintaining them as a client.
The first most important step for all account managers is to identify whether your client is new to AdWords or has gone through a few account managers. Both types of clients will need you to earn their trust, for different reasons. It point will affect the way you discuss the variables, and how you will approach the account.
Account management is a skill and fortunately comes naturally to some, but don’t worry if it hasn’t been developed yet - you will get there!
Evaluating your Communication with Clients
The important part is realising whether you need to develop better communication skills. Be honest with yourself:
- How confident do you feel about explaining your work?
- How do you feel after a phone call?
- What is your churn rate?
-Do clients keep asking to speak to your manager or the sales consultant?
Answers to the above will give an idea of how you are in terms of your communication with your clients. Don’t feel bad if it is not positive. A good company will allow you to develop these skills, because skills can be developed.
4 Tactics to Retain and Maintain Your Clients
Besides from practicing your communication skills, here are four simple, yet very effective tactics a new account manager can utilise to gain or work on trust.
‘As they say, it takes months to find a customer…seconds to lose one”
1. Go through the process
Sales have managed to do their part and get you an account, now it’s your turn to retain the account. People like to know what is going to happen. The best way is to pick up the phone give your client a call and explain the process. Depending on the client, it would be best to send a follow-up email and maintain this every time. Consistency is paramount and is a key point of difference between a good or a great Account Manager.
In order to retain a client, you need to build a rapport where they are able to ask any questions (no matter how silly they feel) or tell you about what a competitor said rather than cancelling immediately. These conversations are hard to tackle, and are something all account managers will experience; advice – tame your ego, and listen to the feedback you receive.
2. Access to their Account
Give them access to their Google AdWords account. This is the easiest way to show transparency. Some clients love to have a basic understanding of their account. Send an invitation with any share-screen software and show them a few aspects of their account. They will enjoy seeing their account, and you can show your knowledge, gaining trust.
In an AdWords campaign, there are 3 common setups: search, display and Google Shopping. Depending on your marketing goals, and your current objectives, you can show the process you went through. For example, you can show the main variables you have agreed as your KPIs for your client.
Let’s say you are doing search adverts, you can go through clicks, impressions, and the main variables that are fed through your report. It is best to prepare your client, especially if they are business owners what they will review. This helps your client to anticipate on what they will receive as metrics that we are very familiar with as specialists.
3. Show how to view their ‘change history’
Clients want proof. It can be emotionally difficult to prove you are working on account, as you feel they are questioning you, but remember, there is a reason why.
Put yourself in their shoes. They may have a bad experience in the past, or communication has lapsed which has made them question their account manager. Take it with a grain of salt. The easiest way is to show how to access their ‘change history’ on their account. It shows that you are making the changes, and acting on the account.
4. Trial and Error
The fact is there is a process when setting a campaign live. Although your aim is to gain leads for a service or sales for an e-commerce store; you need to be realistic and manage expectations of the client. This process lies in the idea of ‘trial and error’. The reason I was drawn to online marketing initially in my career was the idea of testing an idea and using the data collected – it’s almost like a science experiment. By involving your client in your ideas, you will be able to retain the clients for longer.
There you have it! Four quick ways to maintain and re-build the relationships with your clients; no one says it is easy, but an important skill everyone needs to develop.
I hope this post has gone through a method you can use, if you are not using them yet. Listening is key. Your aim as an Account Manager is to achieve a win-win situation.
What do you do as an Account Manger to re-gain or build trust with your client?
Gues post by Ashleigh Betvardeh. Ashley is currently the Client Director at Click Click Media, and works to manage integrated marketing goals to achieve their business outcomes. She works closely to oversee the integration of SEO, SEM, Website, Email and Content to broaden a client’s knowledge.
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