In the Digital Marketing world, account transitions are inevitable. These changes can be on the client-side, or they can happen internally, but at some point, you will more than likely receive a new client or leave an old one. Whether you’re getting a new client or transitioning off the account, the transition can be extremely stressful. The last thing you want to do as an account manager is to make the client feel like they are in unstable hands, so having a foolproof transition plan in place will be extremely valuable. In this post, I will share the best tips I have found to make account transition as seamless as possible.
For the Account Manager Leaving
When you leave an account, you want to make sure the client and the new account manager (AM) both feel good about the transition itself. Having a plan in place will help both sides feel confident about the changes going forward. For the client, it is important to make sure they feel stable throughout the whole process. It is also important that they know their account isn’t being thrown to a brand-new person with no prior knowledge of the account or specifics of the business. For the new AM, it is important that they feel brought up to speed on the industry, specific business, and client contact themselves. It is critical for the AM to understand the client’s account from a PPC standpoint and make sure they are comfortable with the client’s communication style as well.
- Make sure to have a solid plan in place, confirming that both the client and the new AM are on the same page.
- Assign the new AM tasks within a specific timeline; assure that they are getting acclimated to the account and understand how the account is set up.
- Make sure to have written documentation of the processes you follow so the new AM will have something to reference when you are transitioned off the account. *Bonus Tip: Have screen recording of things like reporting, budget pacing, etc. This can be a strong asset.
- When notifying the client of the upcoming transition, the earlier the better. Allowing the client and the new AM as much time as possible to get acclimated and adjust during this transition period will be extremely beneficial.
For the New Account Manager
When you are transitioning on to a new account, it can feel a little like you are playing a game of catch up. Trying to understand the setup of a new account, a new industry/business, and a new client contact can be a lot of work in a short amount of time, but with the right processes, it can become much easier.
1. Ask questions. This will be the most important tip I can give. If you have a question about anything, ask the old AM while you have the chance. Sample Questions:
- What KPI’s are most important to the client?
- What initiatives have been implemented recently?
- What has/hasn’t worked so far?
- What is their call/report schedule?
- Specific questions about AdWords account set up, bid strategies, ad copy updates, etc.
2. Spend some time researching. While this can feel unproductive in a sense, it will become extremely helpful in understanding the industry and the business. Look at the website, read articles about the business, and identify trends in that industry. This background knowledge will help the client feel like you know what is going on when you transition onto the account, helping build that trust in a new relationship.
3. Make sure you have a reference point for things that you may not be able to do on your own the first few times. For example, take notes of the reporting process so you have something to reference the first couple of times. This will be especially helpful if the old AM is no longer at the same company.
4. Talk to the client. When starting with a new client, be sure to ask questions that you have even if they seem obvious. Ask about their goals, what they report on to their boss, what KPI’s are important to them, how they prefer to communicate, etc. These types of questions will show them that you are interested in helping them reach their goals and will also give you a better idea of what you need to be optimizing for.
Although client transitions can be stressful, they can also be a great experience. A set of new eyes on an account can be just the right thing to improve performance. Meeting new clients can be extremely fun as well. If you have a transition coming up, keep these tips in mind while going through the process and enjoy the new experience!