Imagine this scenario:
You are working as a B2B salesperson. Bob (one of your coworkers) has accepted another opportunity at a different company. Before he leaves, he gives you the rundown of his accounts that you will be inheriting upon his departure. On the surface, everything looks great and all of his accounts look as if they have been properly managed. All of their orders are taken care of over the next month and they all have been notified of the change in representation. At first, everything is going well, but upon further analysis and upon further conversations with the clients, you discover that there exists a lot of opportunity for additional revenue. You also discover that some of the clients are simply unhappy with their experience. What happened?
Unfortunately, this scenario happens a lot. It’s easy to think that managing an account is the same as providing excellent customer service. However, this could not be farther from the truth.
Account management, when taken literally, is the act of making sure you and your company are holding up to your end of the bargain. When a customer enters into an agreement with a company, the customer expects a certain product or service in return that matches their perceived value. Account management is simply that – ensuring that the company is providing the product or service as agreed upon.
Customer service, on the other hand, is ensuring that the customer is satisfied with the agreement. It means constantly making contact with the customer to make sure that they are happy by asking them if they have any questions or if there is anything that you can do to help improve their experience. Being a source for reliable information can go a long way with a customer. It also means identifying opportunities to improve their experience by making additional recommendations. Many times, current customers who are experience great customer service will purchase MORE from you because they trust you to meet/exceed their expectations.
Account management is delivering what’s expected
Customer service is going above and beyond to ensure the customer is 150% satisfied.
Do both to ensure the maximum level of customer experience
If you focus solely on the customer service element, you will be a lot of talk, but won’t have any substance to back up your promises. If you only manage accounts, you might seem like you don’t care about the customers and if they are really happy or not. This is why you must do both to ensure the highest level of customer experience.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com