The agency has been entertained, the product pitched, and the agreement signed. The sales executive has done their job and your media team is ready to make the campaign rock. As an account manager, you just have to make sure everything is set-up properly and maintained along the way, providing feedback and follow-up when needed, right? That way of thinking might help you survive the campaign, but it won’t help win future business. With so many digital partners to choose from, media planners expect more than just solid performance to win repeat business; they want to genuinely enjoy working together. As their account manager and primary contact, there are certain client service steps you can take to ensure a trial test turns into a long-term, profitable relationship.
While it seems obvious, this pertains to so much more than providing the required reporting and having an occasional status call. While we manage multiple campaigns at a time, media planners want to know their campaign is especially being taken care of – that their business is the most important part of your day. Account managers should feel the need to over-communicate. An ad unit performed well over the weekend – send an email sharing that. Did the media team find a new insight? Shoot it over. Nothing really new to share today? Let your client know of some new strategies and targeting on the horizon. Even if your client doesn’t respond, it doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to see you’re always thinking about their campaign.
Client communication is important but just as crucial is internal communication. Know your product, your team, and who is working on your campaign. Building solid relationships with your media, product, and traffic colleagues can only help you in gaining a complete understanding of your campaign and its health. If you are a waiter in a restaurant, and your client is the customer, these teams are the cooks making sure your customer is satisfied.
Step in front of the problem
Always be proactive. It’s inevitable that some sort of issue will come up – step in front of them before it happens. If the market conditions are changing in a way that may negatively affect the campaign, let your client know and provide some solutions your team is planning on implementing. Clients can usually deal with problems and mistakes if they are made aware by you – don’t let them find out on their own. Never be afraid to pick up the phone either. Oftentimes a real conversation can be much more effective than an email.
Help them and they will help you
Just as problems and mistakes can happen internally, the same can happen on the client’s side. If an agency makes a planning, budgeting, or pacing mistake, discuss with your internal team what can be done to help rectify it. Help them, and they may be more eager to help you when a similar event happens on your side.
No matter the client, product, vertical, or campaign, strong client communication and service will help put your team above the competition and turn new accounts into solid, returning business. The sales rep, product, and company’s reputation have gotten the client to the table; your service may be the difference that brings them back for more.