Insights

How a Client Relationship Manager Supports You: An Interview

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Andy Crisp

Head of Client Services

What is the Role of a CRM (Client Relationship Manager)?

Our Client Relationship Managers act as client advocates in Liberty. Delivering consistent feedback and updates, they are the point of support for clients and our projects by bridging the gap between clients and delivery.

By working alongside our Head of Client Services, Client Sponsors, Project Managers, and directly with our specialist channel managers, they ensure that activity is delivered on time and to the highest quality as expected.

Between organising project updates and reports, to holding face to face meetings and making sure the clients needs are met, a CRM is pivotal to the success of our projects.

To find out more about the role and the ways in which we support clients, we spoke to Nicola and Matt, two experienced Liberty CRMs.

a woman and a man using laptops

What is your role in a nutshell?

Matt: It’s about acting as the point of contact for clients to ensure their goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are understood (and met). This is important to successfully deliver against the targets and build the strongest strategy.

We make sure the client’s voice is heard within the agency, and on the flip side, we’re also the hub of client knowledge so if anyone at Liberty has a question or needs something to be clarified, they’ll usually talk to a CRM. We take charge of the briefing process – we make sure all requests are precise and the delivery team know exactly what they’re providing.

Nicola: Exactly. We also help keep the client’s trust and maintain a close relationship by always being available and reliable – we’re a client advocate. They need to know our Liberty team is an extension of their own in-house team. So, our role often involves making sure the client feels confident – both in our abilities and our presence.

Part of that is making sure clients understand what Liberty is doing and why. Managing expectations is really important, so explaining Liberty’s aims for any particular piece of work is key. It provides security to clients and builds trust.

How, and how regularly, do you communicate with clients?

Matt: We build a bespoke plan for all our communication and updates at the very beginning, so each client is slightly different. Some prefer email updates, so we might prioritise these. Other clients like a more visual or face-to-face approach, with key catch-ups happening either virtually or in person.

Nicola: For most clients the two main forms of communication are calls and emails, though we do love in-person meetings! We visit clients for key meetings, and they visit our Liberty office too. But as Matt mentioned, all communication is tailored to each individual client’s preferences. We want comms to be natural and easy.

How do you get to know new clients and their needs?

Matt: We start with discussions between the onboarding team and the client. This is where we set out all the key goals we’ll be working to, as well as other considerations like contact preferences and the style of reporting. We also do a lot of our own research to make sure we have a thorough understanding of the client, what makes their brand special and where they sit in the market. By having a greater understanding of the client, their product or service and their brand, we’re in a better position to serve them.

Nicola: Our kick-off meetings are always really important as it’s a chance to ask questions and get to know each other better. In some cases, we also set up one-on-one meetings as CRMs like to get to know the client’s personality and begin building the foundations of a good working relationship.

Matt: Exactly. It’s not just about knowing you on a professional level – we need to understand your personal ways of working too. We adapt our approach to suit each client because our goal is to act like we’re an extension of their own team, and each client is different.

What are the key challenges of being a client advocate and how do you overcome them?

Nicola: We have to strike a balance by being a voice for clients internally. If there’s any disconnect between Liberty’s plans and the client’s vision, we work to re-align everything. At the end of the day, as CRMs we translate all the techy insights from the delivery team and explain how they fit with the client’s goals and vice versa. It’s up to us to relay the client’s needs to the delivery team. 

Matt: I suppose one challenge is making sure clients know they’re appreciated. They hold the expertise from a brand perspective and that’s something that is hugely valuable to our internal team. We also understand the client has other responsibilities – sign off may take time for example, but this is something we account for and plan for. Often, we’ll be working away in the background to make sure everything is on track.

What is the biggest difference you make in your role, and why?

Matt: Humour  – I am a delight. In all seriousness though, I think it’s that we’re a reassuring presence. We want clients to succeed at the end of the day and help them grow.

Nicola: Being a bridge to help translate anything particularly technical – maintaining that understanding is really key. We’re also people pleasers, it comes with the territory! So I’d say just generally making clients happy.

Support Your Team – With Ours

Could your marketing team benefit from a little external support? Our Client Relationship Managers are experts at helping our team fit seamlessly as an extension of yours. They keep the team agile and aligned as we deliver your bespoke growth plan. Contact us today to learn more about the varied services we can offer.

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By

Andy Crisp

Head of Client Services

Andy has worked in the Marketing Agency sector for 25 yrs plus. His Background has primarily been in PR, technology for most of that. Latterly specialised in client services, in PR, web and now Digital Marketing. Andy loves building relationships, winning exciting new work and seeing my team achieve success and being able to celebrate…

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