To be an Account Manager at Netpeak means to be the face of the agency, the guide between the customer and the team of the agency, the mentor for colleagues and the superman, ready to aid to the customers at any time of the day or night… We asked Segei Solovyov – a senior Account Manager at Netpeak – to tell us about his job.
Who can be interested in this post?
- Those, who want to know more about the life inside of Netpeak.
- Those, who are interested to know, what an Account Manager at Netpeak does.
- Those, who are interested in the corporative culture of different agencies.
- Those, who thought about a job in Netpeak.
I lead a project. What does it mean?
I answer to clients’ questions, learn analytics, read specialists’ reports, hold meetings, conferences with clients, and don’t let living in peace to different good people from Netpeak, if they haven’t yet done what they should have.
The most delicious – answering questions
Questions can be easy, difficult and tricky. Some, require serious reflections, researches and analytics. And in the process of writing down the answer the balance between the maximum understandable explanation and expertise should be kept. Probably, it is the most interesting, as I like the process of “planning” such an answer, that won’t raise more questions from the client than he had in the beginning, very much. Firstly, because it is very pleasant to receive an answer “Thank you for the detailed explanation but I still have few more questions that are not connected with previous questions’ answers” from the customer. Secondly, it is really great to know that you have helped someone today and it means that day wasn’t spent in vain.
I like helping people
Exactly this can be called the next aspect of my work in Netpeak. I am here because I like helping people. As, anyway, manager’s work in all its diversity is about helping clients and colleagues. “Help those who surround you – and good will return to you”, – this is one of the Account Manager's department work principles.
There was a time when a moped of one of our colleagues was stolen from the parking lot. We organized fundraising, and as the number of participants was huge, the share of each was small. A few days later, even more than it was needed to buy a new moped was raised.
I remembered this incident, as it is a good example of relationships within the agency. Managers carry these principles of relationships into the work with clients. An Account Manager’s position is unique – he is the mediator between the client and the technical department within the agency. The manager is personally liable to the client, at the same time the manager has obligations to the agency where he works. The client is confident that his project is in safe hands. And the agency expects from me that I don’t just promise the customer something impractical, and that I will clearly follow the technology of our production processes.
Areas of responsibility
Our work upon the project – is the team work, and each member of the project knows what part of the work he is responsible for. As of everyone, my work consists of some part of the routine, and of what makes it interesting and beloved. This will be discussed further.
Customer’s satisfaction with our work
I want to confess that Netpeak is not a customer-oriented agency, despite the fact that our employees generally love to help each other and others. Netpeak – is a results-oriented agency, and I often have to explain to clients, "why we should do as it is needed, instead of doing exactly as the customer wants." Sometimes it happens to the prejudice of the intermediate results in client’s attitude to our work. But it is only in short distances. In the long term perspective, the customer usually thanks for the result, not the curtsies. Insisting and doing as it has to be done – is more important than making just the way the customer wants. I take the responsibility to insist on something I believe is right.
Client’s understanding of "what exactly we are doing and what for it is needed"
I used to send interim reports, specialists’ plans for the nearest future and so on, on words or in letters. The client had to "sew" all that – to structure, note, fold somewhere. But now it's all available in the Client Dashboard, with full work chronology and history. Now I am generally working on the answers to the questions that are not adequately covered in the Client Dashboard, or ones of the strategic character, consultations, planning together with the client. From the clients’ understanding of our work depends much. If you build a scale of understanding from zero to ten, in the region of zero may be a client that does not understand what is happening at all. He paid for agency services, but can’t see himself what specific changes were made and what they have brought. It is logical to assume, for such a client, that the agency does not do anything at all, and it is needed to stop working with them (with the agency of course) as soon as possible. Unfortunately, at the dawn of the agency’s work, there were cases when the client tired from the information vacuum was about to leave, but he was shown and told what was done on time and he stayed. In the end it turned out that everything is very good, even better than the average for other projects. Only the client was forgotten to be told about it. My task is not to allow this to happen.
All that has to be done – will be done
It can be started with the saying here "An honest man's word is as good as his bound". Manager for the client – is a spokesman of the agency. All that he says – says the agency. All his actions – are the agency's actions. Where do the manager end, and the agency begin, no one knows, even the manager. If I give a promise to "make a report before the end of the day", "answer the important question", "solve the problem with something," and so on, I have to fulfill such promises. Otherwise, in the eyes of the customer it is not me who did not keep the word, it is the agency that has not kept it. In addition to performing everyday personal promises, the work with the client’s project – is also a one huge promise to engage in the successful development of the client's business, and it also needs to be performed.
Works’ control – is one of the main manager’s competences
My life here, is also being facilitated by the automation, but no one canceled the human factor. The terms, the availability of the presentation of recommendations and technical tasks must be followed, and in general everything possible, so that the client had no reason to say “They promised but did not”, should be done. In addition, there still is no available system, that will equally consider many factors to adjust the priorities of a particular task. We already have systems that automatically put the tasks. But the priority, the postponement of the terms of the task is still manager’s work
Work with loyalty, settling the conflicts
The main percentage of conflicts arise from the difference between customer’s expectations and the harsh reality. So my job with the conflict situations begins, rather, at the stage of exploring the client's expectations when there is no conflict situation, but it is here, where it can arise. It is important to help the client to create realistic expectations, to see the "picture" as close as possible to reality. Of course, I can‘t predict the future. But I know exactly what can’t be and what shouldn’t be expected. So my goal – is to get the client’s vision, and then reasonably confirm or correct, depending on the actual situation. As for loyalty, sometimes it is very difficult to overcome the natural skepticism of customers. Many do not expect the manager to offer some good conditions in the “win-win” style himself, and there is no need to emboss and push them For many customers it is very surprising, at first, that there is no need to stand upon the project team “with a stick”, and that the working process doesn’t depend on the intensity of meetings and telephone calls. "Loyalty" is literally translated as "fidelity", and in my opinion, loyalty and trust – are very close concepts. Trust cannot be obtained quickly, it can only be built together with the client.
Netpeak is a sort of country, with its democratic government and constitution, mentality and certainly patriotism. I do not know anyone who works in our agency and can tell about Netpeak, as about "the office, where I just make money." The majority of those who come to us say that such relations within the agency can’t be found anywhere else. We really have the atmosphere of mutual support and respect ruling. We have a table in the hallway with chocolates and Pepsi, with no cameras, nothing hanging above it. A table in a remote corner. But no one takes from there without putting money in a special box! Our small agency is already mature enough for this. Perhaps, this example will say nothing for many. I asked myself, where else, on any of my previous works could be such a table, or where such collective support, as we have, was possible? For me, the answer is obvious. That is why my sense of the agency's reputation is closely connected with my own reputation, the reputation of my colleagues. Of course, mistakes happen in our work, we are not perfect, but strive for it. For me it is important for customer to have formed a good impression about each member of the team, that works on the project during the work process. Because this team is Netpeak for the client. This is where I finish my story. Thanks to everyone who has read it, put likes, ask questions.
Special thanks – to Netpeak’s SEO-specialist Victoria Ignatieva, her wonderful drawings from Netpeak citizens life were used as illustrations for the post.
Translated by Daria Mishakina