There is much to be said about the role of key account managers in todays 'connection economy'. We have greater visibility and exposure to how happy or unhappy our clients are than ever before. With the sensitivity of this and the importance of effective management of your key accounts your ability and pro activeness to serve and provide an outstanding service is critical
I want to focus on on the three most important actions you can take to be proactively at the forefront of your key accounts and become a customer service hero.
Surprise your customers
There was a story I read of a man named Peter Shankman on the way back home on a flight jokingly tweeted his favourite restaurant Morton's Porterhouse, saying: “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)” Some how the restaurant was able to figure out where he would be and to his surprise got off the plane to find a guy dressed in a tuxedo holding a bag that contained a 24 oz, shrimp, potatoes, bread, napkins and silverware.
I'm not suggesting you wait for tweets of your customers coming back from holiday and buy them lunch. What you can see here is a tremendous example of going the mile after the extra mile for your customer.
Action: What would that look like for your key customers? Do you have any specific ongoing project or meeting. Is there something your client would really value that they thought they couldn't get you could add? Take one thing this week or for this month you can surprise your client with.
Go beyond in care for your customers
This is a personal story of an account manager I came across while working with a team in Germany. His client was set to sign one of the biggest deals in his career but his client suddenly had a colleague who died unexpectedly who he was close to. The account manager knew who he was and instead of just emailing his condolences personally bought a flight and attended the funeral. The company and I quote said "This was the greatest expression of care we've ever seen from an account manager". Result the account manager not only closed the biggest deal in his career but was promoted in his company and is now close friends with the CEO of his client.
Action: What would empathy look for your customers today? Look for opportunities to authentically demonstrate care in a helpful and meaningful way.
Personalise as much of the experience as possible
Another story I love as a Netflix fan happened almost three years ago but is very relevant today. You might know Michael from Netflix who is was a customer service/technical rep at Netflix (possibly still is). A subscriber named Norm contacted the company about a problem he was having with an episode of Parks and Rec. Norm chose to contact Netflix through the company’s chat service. Michael was the one that answered, beginning by introducing himself as “Captain Mike of the good ship Netflix” and then asking which member of the crew he was speaking with. “Lieutenant” Norm replied, obviously a Star Trek fan. How did he know. Netflix has the data of those customers and their preferences. What is more connecting than being able to share in your favourite show. The end result for Michael (Superstardom) and a very happy customer who soon sent his experience viral. The full chat is HERE if you're interested
Action: Turn your customer information into insight that deepens your ability to connect and create an experience unique in every customer conversation. Decide on one thing you could do this week to personalise your customer conversations.
If you want to know how you can transform the relationships of your key customers and create long term predictable sales growth then with over 150 account managers, VP's and consultants sign up to my customer growth email series HERE and you can start the process of learning a new framework of thinking to growth. www.jermaineedwards.com
Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.