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What makes a great Account Manager? An Interview with Mark Clack
Mark Clack is an Account Manager at Pythagoras, he has been at the company a little over a year and looks after accounts across our key sectors.
Hi Mark! In your own words, what characteristics or traits do you believe contribute to someone being a great account manager?
An account manager needs to be transparent, trustworthy, and always have the client’s best interests at heart. They need to have a professional, yet approachable relationship, and while it doesn’t work for every organisation, I think a relationship that balances on the thin edge between professional and one where light banter can be shared, are the best and most rewarding. My manager, Kevin Brown defined account management as: “Your role is to play chess, putting the right people, in the right place, at the right time.”
What aspects of Account Management attracted you to the role?
For me, the opportunity to build and nurture long standing relationships; the chance to mend relationships with any dissatisfied customers; and to be able to concentrate on a select few accounts, providing them with information to help them along in their journey, really appealed. In joining Pythagoras, it was also the chance to develop the account management side to the business.
Why is it so important that companies like Pythagoras, have Account Managers? What do you/the role bring to the business?
I think Account Managers are vital to any business when dealing with customers, as you always need someone on the front line that can help drive the business forward, and like Kevin said, to play that game of chess for them as and when required. Customers also need to be able to reach out and have a shoulder to cry on so to speak, or an ear to bash if they are feeling frustrated; you need to be a safe, reliable pair of hands. Account Managers are key for providing customer attention, customers need to feel a part of the Pythagoras eco system.
“Mark has been a revelation compared with some of the other account managers we have had in the past. He has taken time to understand our business and our culture and the resources we have available. He listens to what we want and now understands our IT roadmap and the difficulties that we face in implementing it. Since Mark became our Pythagoras Account Manager, we have seen an improvement in the level of service and customer focus and really feel that Mark will do his best by us.”
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to join Pythagoras
At school I always classed myself as a bit of an in-betweener, and after my GCSE’s, although I tried sixth form, it wasn’t really for me; I was too keen to get out into the working world. I therefore left before completing my A-Levels for a role in customer services; this triggered my enjoyment for wanting to help and nurture relationships with customers. As time went on, I started to move into more sales focussed roles and now I feel like I have the best of both worlds; the ability to sell alternative technologies to my customers, whilst keeping a smile on their faces.
Where do you see yourself and your role progressing?
My ideal is to head up a client services side of the business, to make sure that each and every client that touches Pythagoras has the same level of customer satisfaction that not only I would expect, but demand.
And finally, what advice would you have for someone thinking about Account Management as a career?
You have to be someone that keeps customers’ needs at the forefront of their thinking, and to never put their personal greed before the client’s happiness. A role in customer services like I started out doing is always a good insight to the type of care customers like to receive, and the sort of problems that can affect them about a product or service. And if you yourself are approachable and friendly, account management could be an excellent career for you.
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