JESS - THE CUSTOMER ACCOUNT MANAGER
Jess is currently a Customer Account Manager, working in the UK head office of a large global consumer goods manufacturer. She works with retailers, like supermarkets and drugstores, to get the products people use everyday onto the shelves. The role of an account manager is about building relationship with customers, to create strategies that grow both the supplier and retailers’ businesses, whilst holding the consumer/shopper at the centre of all decisions. Jess uses a variety of skills in her job, from negotiating and collaborating with her customer, to analysing the financial performance and communicating this back to her business.
ABOUT CUSTOMER ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
Account Manager Job Purpose:
The Account Manager is the person in charge of managing a company's relationships with its customers. They are in charge of building long-term relationships with a group of customers and generally stay with customers for the length of their relationship with the company. The goal is to keep clients or accounts as long as possible. Account managers may be in charge of finding new business, be assigned prospects, given accounts, or a combination thereof. Tasks may involve project management, strategic planning, sales support, product design, service application, logistics, and marketing.
Account Manager Job Duties:
Generate sales among client accounts, including upsetting and cross-selling
Operates as the point of contact for assigned customers
Develops and maintains long-term relationships with accounts
Makes sure clients receive requested products and services in a timely fashion
Communicates client needs and demands to employer company
Forecasts and tracks client account metrics
Manage projects within client relationships, working to carry out client goals while meeting company goals
Identifies opportunities to grow business with existing clients
Coordinate with staff members working on the same account to ensure consistent service
Collaborates with sales team to reach prospective clients
Service multiple clients concurrently, often meeting deadlines
Keep records of client transactions
PODCAST Q&A WITH JESS
Q – What kinds of organisations need account managers?
A – "Lots of organisations. I would say that any company that is selling their products to another company would need an account manager, regardless of what the produces are. Whether it’s the shower gel that I sell or the parts that go into an aeroplane that an aeroplane parts manufacturer might need to sell. It is really broad and not just a role within fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).
Q – How can you get work experience without the help of your parents?
A – “It’s about looking a bit further than the people you normally come into direct contact with including extended family and even your friends’ parents. If there is really nothing available via your family then reach out to local businesses and just ask for work experience. I would say that honestly, when you’re 16-17/before university then any experience is helpful regardless of what the business is and regardless of what you want to go into; knowing how people account for things, take payment, and keep a stock is really useful. Also, part time jobs can make a big difference as well, whether it is a shop or restaurant, it’s the understanding of how a business is run that will really make a difference, rather than getting into your dream industry in the first ever experience you have.”
Q – What do you most like about your job?
A – "The way that I can see the outcome of what I do and how it makes a difference. This can go from the really fun and exciting product development. In this case, a new product is produced, you’re in charge of getting it into the customer and you get to see it on the shelf and know that if it wasn’t for you then that product wouldn’t exist and a shopper wouldn’t be able to pick it up; that’s the most exciting thing you can do. But at the same time there are also smaller things that might not be visible to someone as a shopper but are really visible within our business. We’re targeted by numbers, and knowing that every month me being there helps us to hit our forecasts is what actually motivates me, what I get enjoyment from, and is what keeps me going when things get tough."