(Manager’s note: Please join me in welcoming Lianna MacDonald to our Community team here at Sysomos! Lianna has been with Sysomos for a number of years working with large enterprise customers such as Novartis, Universal and Verizon.
After delighting customers in supporting their projects, campaigns and advanced use of Sysomos products, we’re excited to have her in Sysomos’ Marketing group as a Brand Evangelist.
Along with Amber, Jason and Sheldon, you’ll see Lianna on our social channels and at our events as we start our Fall/Winter event circuit.
Please help us in welcoming Lianna to the team!
-Jason Harris, Sr. Manager of Community and Evangelism)
You’re sitting at your desk, it’s 8 am, and EMEA’s day is already half over. You have a back-to-back day with 4 hour-long client calls, an internal meeting, a lunch & learn for a new software your company is implementing to “create efficiency” and three client asks due by EOD. Your phones ringing, your frienenemy client can’t remember how to do that one thing (even though you’ve told them a million times and even sent them a step-by step email to reference), and your sales counterpart wants you to jump on a sales demo call because you do “such a good job”.
Lunch? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
If you are an account manager then you are well aware you don’t drive your own day. Your clients do. Days are busy, packed with client calls/demands and often times it’s hard to get the proactive work done when you’re putting out unexpected fires. Basically everything was due, well, yesterday.
But you already know that. This post is not to rub it in your face; in fact it’s to help. In my previous life, as an SMS (Social Media Specialist), aka “Account Manager”, I died for quick tips to give me even the smallest amount of time back in my day and increase efficiency.
Below are some of my personal favourite work hacks and I also asked my old SMS buddies to outline some of theirs, rounding out an awesome list of 7 work hacks to save you time and serve up some stellar client service.
At the end of the day, you really want each client to feel like they’re your only client, right?
- Following your clients’ social channels: Get to know their brand and business, what they’re up to and how they position themselves online. Not only will this give you great talking points, but show you’re genuinely interested in their online efforts and help you make better suggestions or recommendations.If you want to get more personal, LinkedIn is great to see what their work/school background is. Often times you’ll find things you have in common that you can use to build a relationship. This is also a great platform for keeping track of clients’ milestones such as birthdays, work anniversaries, promotions etc.
- Setting up Google Alerts: Similar benefits to following your clients on social, but Google Alerts allow the information to come to you so you don’t have to keep refreshing a feed. You can then use this as a proactive outreach to your client, a shout-out on social or a kind acknowledgment email of their efforts on a great initiative (ex: tell them how much you like their new partnership campaign with a charity or an online video series they just launched). This helps you offer that personalized touch to clients without having to spend hours digging for information!
- Template emails: This can save loads of time! If it’s an email that you send often, something that takes some time to compose but usually pretty much contains the same information (like an onboarding email, or instructions on how to set up an account, reset a password etc.) save it as a template and that way it’s right there when you need it. Change the name, address and hit send.
- Setting up conference line details as a signature: Set up your WebEx room (or whatever conference system you use), as an outlook email signature. That way it’s just a quick drop down to add it to invites and emails – means you don’t have to login to your conference system to retrieve the details, then copy and paste it.
- Calendar reminders: Yes, super old school but so effective and people often forget to use it. Another good one is just using calendar notices to remind you of important things. This also blocks off the time, so you can actually get it done. Some examples include: 90 days out from a contract expiry, 30 days since onboarding, 6 month check-in, a major event for a customer’s brand, submitting expenses or a client’s birthday or return from vacation.
- The power of the re-occurring meeting: This helps so much, especially for those clients that are less responsive. You don’t have to chase them down for their time. You already have it blocked off and committed to in the calendar. Set it up on a kick-off call that way the ball is in the customer’s court not to have the meeting. Even if the frequency is quarterly, it sets the expectation that it’s happening early in the relationship. This also gives you the opportunity to give updates on your end even if the client doesn’t require any support at that time.
- Leveraging tools to help populate data: Of course we hear this all the time- measure, measure, measure. Don’t waste hours doing this manually; leverage the tools that are available to you to measure your success. Here at Sysomos, we use Salesforce as our CRM tool which is great for creating customized dashboard reports outlining all opportunities, renewals, upcoming expiries, leads etc. (vs. doing this by yourself in excel). The benefit is reports update in real time when you make edits to the data. Another one we use to track our clients’ usage and engagement in our software is Totango. Instead of asking your clients how often they’ve been using the tool and which areas they are working in, let Totango tell you, skip that step and move right to sending proactive emails of suggestions, tips or tricks matching their areas of interest.
Do you have any great work hacks that help you increase efficiency and save time? Share them with us below!