Transitioning Account Managers: 4 Tips On How To Do It Successfully
In the world of advertising, account transitions happen from time to time. Whether you're getting a new account, or transitioning off of one, this change can cause uncertainty for both you and the client. As the account manager, your goal is to make this process as seamless as possible. The last thing you want to do as the incoming account manager is make the client feel like they are in unstable hands. Having a transition plan in place helps both sides feel confident about the changes going forward. There are four key areas to focus on during this changeover:
Get to Know the Client’s Business
Before your initial client introductions, take the time to familiarize yourself with their business. Get to know their products, brand and objectives. Spend time on their website and social media platforms, read any relative articles and get a feel for their industry. Having this background knowledge will help lay a strong foundation from the beginning and will help to build trust and confidence at the start of the new relationship.
Notify the Client
One tip to a smooth transition is to give the client plenty of warning. When possible, give the client a heads up while the current account manager is still there. Starting the transition as soon as possible helps ensure no critical tasks are being overlooked. People don’t like surprises, especially when it has to do with their main point of contact. Letting them know sooner rather than later allows the client time to adjust and warm up to the idea of having a new account manager. Bring them in the loop and let them know what the action plan is for moving forward. They will appreciate being involved in the process.
Gain an Understanding of the Account History
Get an idea of how the account started at the beginning and see how it progressed over time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Identify what services your agency provides for your new client. This is the time to do your in-depth research on what has worked or not worked in the past. Ask for insights on key performance indicators (KPIs) or goals that have been established. Having this information will show the client that you are interested in helping them reach their goals, and will also give you a better idea of how you can help make improvements as you manage the account.
Get to Know Your Client
The sooner you get to know your client the better. Everyone has different personalities, so it’s important to try and get to know them as you enter the new client relationship. If possible, schedule a conference call or in person meeting to go over their expectations. During this preliminary conversation you can identify key points that will help you during this transition. You can go over items such as what their preferred method of communication is. Whether they like to discuss edits over the phone or prefer to email only. You can find out how often they like to receive status reports or budget trackers. And overall, are they happy with the way things have been or is now the time to change it up? It’s helpful to know these details so that you’re able to communicate in the most effective way and hold up to their expectations.
While this transition can be overwhelming, it can also be a great experience. A new account manager can bring a fresh perspective and a spark to reinvigorate the process. If there is a transition in the near future, keep these tips in mind to help make this process as easy as possible. If you have any suggestions on how to make this transition even better, let us know in the comments below!