Meet Andrew. He is a co-director of Wessex IT, but many of you will know him as your Account Manager.
Andrew is an all-rounder when it comes to IT – not only does he understand the technical side of technology, but he is also really good at translating that to people. So, he is responsible for client liaison, problem solving and building a great team to support our clients, among other talents.
We’ve asked him to share a day in his life as an account manager.
1. How would you describe your role as an account manager?
My role is really about fulfilling clients’ needs and requests. I bridge the gap between our clients and the technical team. I like to think of it as taming technology – designing technology systems in the way customers need it to work and explaining it in a way that people understand.
2. Take us through a typical day
My day might start in a similar way to our service desk. I sort through any requests that have come in overnight. This could be urgent requirements or quotes for laptops for new starters and new user set ups – although these usually require a short turnaround as well!
I’ll spend time putting together quotes to include support and engineering time and also give guidance to clients on what business applications and system requirements are needed for their brief. The spec, price and need always must fit into clients’ expectations. We always aim to get it right first time, so managing expectations is a key part of delivering quotes.
When work goes ahead, I work through the approval process and schedule in work with the projects team. I’ll estimate lead times and manage expectations. Laptop supply is hit or miss at the moment and we need commitment quickly to secure stock at the price we quoted.
Clients’ habits have changed over the past two years and so a typical day often includes attending sites for office moves. Many companies are moving to smaller offices and want hot desks. When on site I check internet connections and speeds available and check over any structured cabling already in place. When thinking about host desking, we need standard equipment in place so that a user with any laptop can plug in and go. We adjust traditional phones to a tele working mode so that a any user can sign into the phone upon arrival. It’s all quite simple really but a small, missed step can disrupt a client’s day so planning any project or move is the most important part.
Another important and satisfying part of my job is liaising with clients to ensure they are happy with work and it’s staying on budget. I enjoy catching up with clients and it’s always nice to have a chat.
3. Tell us something you do that clients may not be aware of.
We carry out a six-monthly review for each client where we go through a 20 point check list to make sure that they are being looked after as they should be.
We share the outcomes with clients, identify areas to make improvements or save money, and ensure they are aware of other services we offer that might complement their current set up, such as mobile phone contracts. We’ll also remind teams about security awareness training and monitoring risks, and review contracts to make sure that all computers are up to date.
4. What can clients do to help you?
Businesses are great at letting us know when a new employee joins the team, but not so good at telling us when someone leaves. Remember to inform us about leavers so we can shut down email addresses and access. This not only saves on unnecessary expenditure but also reduces security risks. It’s important not to leave any security doors open.
We’re always working with customers to have in place the right IT set up at the right price, but of course we do get businesses coming to us to say they want to save further. We really need to know details on what they need before we can carry out a full review. As I said before, we can often save money on cancelling services no longer in use, like email addresses. However, reducing costs will usually mean reducing the set up you have.
5. What’s the best thing about your job?
It sounds like a cliché, but I enjoy the variety that being an account manager gives me. And the team. I love working with them and as a director, seeing them progress and develop is very satisfying. They are loyal and conscientious, and when anyone is having a bad day, they all club together and help.
As Wessex IT grows, we’ve made changes to our structure which has ensured we can continue to provide a consistent service. We want to continue to do this for clients as we grow bigger and having a strong, committed team is essential for us to deliver.
6. What do you do in your downtime?
I like to make sure I get time away from the screen and my desk from time to time. I probably have the shortest attention span in the office so taking breaks and going down to the local café for a sandwich and crisps really refocuses me. It is my daily ritual. I always encourage everyone to take that time.
Away from the office, I spend time with my family. I’ve recently had a baby girl so I now have two daughters who take up a lot of time. On the rare occasion I have spare time, I love to ride my horse and I always think I must do this more often, and of course look after Rio (a beautiful Hungarian Vizsla) and a brood of chickens!