If you are not effectively managing your clients' accounts, then you run the risk of them stagnating. Without good account management, your clients will continue to purchase lines of business from your competitors, rather than switching over to the service your company provides.
The primary reason for your clients still purchasing lines of business from your competitors is that you simply haven't asked them to make the switch. Perhaps you have convinced yourself that your customers are too set in their ways and will never change their habits? Or perhaps you think they would rather spread their custom among several companies, rather than relying solely on one organization. However, people can be open to change, as long as the opportunity is presented in the right away. Similarly, you can convince customers to trust your services through strong marketing and by providing consistently good customer service.
When you pose the possibility to your client of switching over to your services, you need to be assertive. Tell the client what you can offer with confidence, even though it opens up the possibility of the client rejecting your offer. This direct, clear, proactive approach is the key to successful account management.
Successful account management requires strong planning and organization. If you are going to "steal" customers from your competitors, then you need to understand exactly what they are offering, and decide how you can compete. You need to do research into your competitors' pricing strategies and special offers. Identify the gaps in what your competitors can offer, and then let your customers know how your organization can offer a solution to those shortcomings. Devise a script before you pick up the phone to help you stay in control of the conversation.
Account management also involves building relationships with customers. Your customers want to feel as though you really understand and appreciate their needs and concerns. When communicating with clients in person or over the phone, listen carefully to what they have to say and tailor your responses to show that you have understood. Using empathy in your account management could improve your customer retention rates and help you to persuade customers to switch over to using your services, rather than those of your competitors. Like all aspects of customer service, account management is all about taking a positive, empathetic attitude toward your customers.
By taking a proactive approach to account management, you can avoid allowing your customers' accounts to stagnate. Instead of running the risk of losing customers, you can persuade them to switch more of their lines of business over to your company's services. As a result, mastering the skill of account management is very important to the success of your organization.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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