What to Do When Your Account Manager Quits Unexpectedly
When one of your account managers resigns unexpectedly, it can feel like you’re starting all over again building a relationship with the customers they’ve been serving. Not only are you losing a valuable team member, but you face the added stress of reassuring your clients that all will be well, despite the initial shock of this development.
And, you have to do damage control internally, as your account manager’s colleagues will also feel the strain of their departure. It’s not easy … but by taking the high road, you can keep things on track until the right transition is made.
First Things First
Communication with the rest of your team, as well as with affected customers, is critical – and it should begin immediately after an account manager’s resignation has become final. Nip rumors in the bud and make sure you get a consistent, accurate message out to all involved stakeholders.
- Keep the message simple and unemotional. Share the basic facts of an account manager’s resignation using a calm voice and demeanor. Even if you’re seething inside, it’s important to resist the urge to vent or criticize. This will go a long way towards maintaining the respect of your team.
- Timing is everything. Let direct coworkers know about the resignation within an hour or two of it becoming official, but be sensitive to interrupting their workflow. If the rest of your workforce’s contact with the individual is more casual or infrequent, it’ okay to tell them the next day.
- As soon as your internal team is notified, contact affected customers with the news. Right from the start and throughout the process of replacing their account manager, keep them in the loop. This includes any temporary plans for a replacement. Be as transparent as possible without divulging “inside only” company details.
Be Smart as You Fill the Gap
Whomever you hire to take on a departing manager’s accounts will need to “own” their predecessor’s clients, whether their appointment is temporary or permanent. So, as dire as the situation may feel, take a breath, work with your staffing agency as needed, and hire for reliability and loyalty, as well as the necessary market knowledge and interpersonal skills.
- Is there a current employee you could reassign clients to, at least for the short term? If so, perhaps you both can “try it on for size” and determine whether or not to make it a permanent hire. In the meantime, you can backfill with a temp to pick up the existing employee’s work.
- Keep those communication lines open. For instance, keep other team members apprised and reassure them that a permanent move is forthcoming. This prevents people from becoming overly stressed, burned out, or concerned about their job security.
Looking For A New Employee?
It’s never easy to lose a good employee. But when the inevitable occurs, it helps to have the right staffing agency on board, ready to step up to the plate on a moment’s notice. For over a decade, Frontline Source Group has served as a valuable staffing resource for businesses across the country, providing direct-hire, temporary and temp-to-hire services in IT, HR, oil and gas, engineering, administration, accounting and finance, customer service and healthcare. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.