The true value of good account management.
As the face of the agency, our account handlers play a highly critical role. They are the first port of call for all of our clients, helping to ensure that work is delivered on time, and to the high standard that they expect. Every client has a dedicated account handler who knows their strategy, understands their business and is there to be a day to day contact and build effective and lasting relationships.
We grabbed a quick five minutes with Natalie Fryatt to find out what qualities she believes it takes to make a good account handler:
Organisation and time management is key – keeping the various agency cogs going, managing timescales, deliverables and most importantly, multiple client expectations. I get lots of requests, questions and communications from clients throughout an average day so I have to stay on top of these and manage them effectively to keep things running smoothly. Being organised also means that I can provide a more proactive service rather than a reactive one. We want to keep one step ahead of our clients at all times.
Knowledge is power – This isn’t just about understanding the agency services and capabilities but also those of our clients. We’re completely imbedded into the design and marketing world, keeping on top of current trends and knowing what works well and what isn’t quite as effective. But on top of this we also really understand the markets that our clients operate in and subsequently know how to effectively reach their target audience. We go above and beyond to make sure that we know our clients inside out and upside-down so that we can advise them properly and strategically.
Open and clear communication – Every client has different processes and ways of doing things so knowing how they like to work and how they like to be communicated with makes a huge difference. Some like constant updates, others just want to know that the job has been done. The key for us is to figure out which style our contacts prefer. If they prefer a weekly report as to where we are with things, that’s what they get. Some clients know they are forgetful and appreciate the odd ‘nag’ from us if we are waiting on something from them. Some would hate that!
Confidence, conviction and culpability – Our clients call us for help and guidance around their marketing strategy so knowing each and every aspect of their campaign allows us to give the best advice. If we don’t believe in what we’re saying, then nor will our client, so it’s important that we stay on top of what’s going on and where we are in the process. Our clients also need to have trust in the team and know that we are working hard to get their job done. The We are Fred ethos has always been to remain open, honest and transparent – if something isn’t working we will say, and if there’s going to be a delay in getting something across then we’re going to let the client know why.
Passion and enthusiasm – This is ultimately the most important quality that our account handlers can have. Passion for our services but also a desire to produce the absolute best products for our clients and help them achieve their objectives. I can safely say that all of us here have a huge amount of enthusiasm for the work we do. We have to reign ourselves in sometimes! But it’s absolutely crucial in this environment and I think our clients recognise that. They all seem to come back to us for more, so we must be doing something right!
Natalie has been at We are Fred since 2017, working on accounts across all sectors including property, recruitment and the care home sector. When she’s not juggling the We are Fred client portfolio and keeping clients happy, you can find Natalie out running and raising money for Cancer Research.