You wish he was different, but you don’t

Get this guy on your team!

During a recent weekly business review meeting with one my staff members, we discussed movement and progress within one of our key enterprise level accounts. A new contact in the customer’s organization is driving some changes to how we’ve done business in the past. Our organization is adjusting to the new requirements and trying to maintain expected service levels.customer advocate

When people change in a business relationship, it can create a strain on the overall relationship and service delivery. Personalities change. Requirements may change. It’s a new dynamic. Does a customer account manager have to work harder during a time like this? I don’t think working harder is the right way to describe it, but the customer account manager must be resolute in their focus to keep products and services flowing at expected levels.

My staff member commented “You wish he was different, but you don’t”. The comment was based on the actions of the customer account manager representing the interests of the customer within our organization. He wasn’t acting with complete abandon to sensibility and profitability of the account. But he was acting with an open mind that solutions do exist and we can work towards adjusting the program to the new requirements.

What great customer account managers provide to an organization.

  • Customer Advocacy – They promote the interests of the customer to the organization. Customers pay for products and services that provide value to them. The customer advocate represents this.
  • Pushes the organization to get better – They push an organization to think differently. Maybe it’s a new product or service that is needed. Maybe it’s delivering and existing product or service differently.
  • Sees through the lens of the customer – This is different than customer advocacy. While a customer advocate is an inward facing role to an organization, seeing through the customer’s lens is an outward facing role. A great customer account manager works to understand the customer’s view point. They spend time listening to the customer to see and feel their business need.

It’s not new – but a good reminder

None of this is new news. But it’s a good reminder that colleagues in our organizations are on the front line with the customers with the goal to build a relationship that provides value to both sides. It’s not easy.  The customer account manager may seem unreasonable at times, dare I say unstable? You wish he was different, but then realize you really don’t. That’s when you get it. That’s when you move forward and get on-board.