"Adding value" is one of those terms that can be difficult to pin down. "Value" is highly subjective, and what is valuable to one person may not be valuable to another. What then, should an account manager do when they are encouraged to "add value" for their clients?
Chris Guillebeau writes: "Value means helping people. When you get stuck, ask yourself: how can I give more value? Or more simply: how can I help my customers more?"
Guillebeau also writes that people (or, in our case, clients) strive for less stress, conflict, hassle and uncertainty in their lives. It would be incredibly helpful if we could reduce these four negatives for our clients. By doing so, you'll be seen to go above-and-beyond the standard agency remit, and automatically add value to the service you are offering.
Let's assume that you are going to do all the basics of account management perfectly (accurate costing, nailing deadlines, effective communication, etc). Here are some of the additional ways you can help (add value for) your clients:
The more that you get to know each of your clients, the more you'll be able to figure out their unique preferences and pain points, and where you can be of greatest service. A coffee and a load of thought-provoking questions could be just the thing to start that added value flowing!
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Keeping clients happy will lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. Keeping suppliers happy could mean sharper pricing and improved turnaround times. Keeping your team happy will allow you to move work around your agency quickly and without fuss. And, most of all, it will mean people will like working with you, which should open more doors than you could ever imagine.
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