Client Support Can Be Beautiful

April 10th, 2008

By Susan Burden
Vice President, Executive Alliance

Lately, I have been receiving many job requests from credit grantors, collections agencies, and industry suppliers in search of Client Services managers and executives. This is a role that is often overlooked, yet vitally important to ARM companies. There are certain roles that some companies perceive as being unnecessary – a position they can do without. Any company who has a solid client services manager in place will tell you that they will not only help you maintain the business you have in house, but they will assist your sales people to increase market share.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Denise A. Manniello. Denise is an expert on client service subject matter, given her 15 years of experience at NCO, Citibank, and American Express. When I asked Denise what exactly the role of a Client Service Manager is, she explained that the "Client Service Management/Executive role is a critical component to the overall revenue success of the organization. It is the eyes and ears of the customer, ensuring their needs are being met while protecting the interest of the organization they work for. It’s a delicate balance between the two."

The Client Service Manager is the glue that helps your old clients stick. While the sales executive is out there hunting for new business and looking to welcome back their established book of business; who is focused on retaining the new clients? The collections team can do their job only if directed appropriately. Cue the Client Service Manager.

The essential role of Client Services is to take the time to onboard new clients. This process will enable you to inquire about each client’s unique needs and can even include visits to clients to keep communication open. As an added advantage, the Client Services Manager has the ability to focus on the relationship, build rapport, and constantly scan for new opportunities. Being able to better service your clients from the start will hopefully create a successful long lasting relationship.

Some companies feel this task can easily fall under the responsibility of the sales person, and in some cases the job can be done this way. However, bringing in new business is a full time job in itself. These days, to compete with other agencies large and small, your sales person should remained focused on selling.

Can you afford to put this type of person on your payroll? How can you not? I have seen salaries come in all shapes and sizes; some even offering bonus potential. All can do the job however; you will need to determine the level and value for yourself. Beware – just as in sales, you get what you pay for. You will see that this is an investment that can not be overlooked.

The Client Service Manager will sustain and support the client and your company. With this in play, you will be able to develop and uphold specific needs and requirements. Clearly, this role will help to maintain your sales and increase collections. Onsite, together with your strong management teams, your collectors will work more effectively on behalf of your client and your numbers will soar.

Susan Burden is a Vice President at Executive Alliance, a strategic partner of Kaulkin Ginsberg, and a leading national recruitment firm that specializes in the ARM industry. Contact Susan at hq@kaulkin.com.

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