Key account management principles apply as soon as the initial step of building a client base is complete and when the next level of retaining them starts. A happy customer is a long lasting customer. Businesses strive to achieve this happiness as it guarantees their baseline. It is a strategic management principle that helps the organization to manage and grow its customer base.
Keeping customers happy involves a dedicated manager to manage their client’s needs proactively.
Here are some tactics to build stronger relationships with your key customers: key account management- Know them:
Key Account Management Principles
Rule#1: Know Them
One of the basic strategies of key account management principles is forming a friendly rapport with your client. Often, customers like to express interests or talk about their success journey. Finding common ground like their hometown significance, their favorite sports team and so on can foster a long-term relationship. These conversations will transform the manager from a business contact to a friend.
Rule#2: Don’t Put Off
Key account management principles dictate that the manager should apprise the client of the potential changes in pricing or any other product information. Most often, key account managers find themselves at the receiving end by delaying bad news. It should be done as soon as the stir becomes official. They should also present viable alternatives to the client. In this way, the manager can gain customer’s loyalty by giving adequate time to prepare. It also helps the client resist the lure of competitors.
Rule #3: Personal Connect
Key account management principles advocate this step to form a personal connection with the client. Today’s age of the internet gives the customer instant updates as the order progresses. However, account managers should go one step further by giving them a call about the order completion. In the case of a snag in the process, the manager should personally inform the key client instead of the email template. This action will keep the customer satisfied and happy about being your client. At the same time, the manager has to appraise the client about new releases, if possible give them a demo.
Rule #4: Alternatives
Offering alternatives and effective solutions are one of the important key account management principles. Most often, clients will inquire about a service or product that you might not have. At that time, the manager should be able to offer some alternatives that will satisfy the client. Those products or service should meet the minimum criteria or provide features that will trump the client’s expectation.
Rule #5: Be Reliable and Proactive
The edicts of key account management principles dictate that managers should provide customized service. Instead of waiting for clients to come up with their issues or problems, account managers should regularly contact and inquire about its performance. In case of any problems, steps should be taken to sort them out immediately. Simultaneously, the key account manager should also be reliable. If they a promise a course of action, it should be done without constant follow-ups from the client’s side.
Rule #6: Communicate
Key account management principles stress that the manager should personally convey that they are looking forward to the client’s support even in the future. Planning for the future is vital along with the focus on the present. A simple thank you and a message for their continued patronage will convey the manager’s intentions.
Strategic and resourceful planning using key account management principles are crucial to retaining customers. Neglecting to engage with your key clients will result in loss of loyalty and ultimately the client. Key account managers should constantly remain connected with customers to achieve customer satisfaction and retention.