Client relations managers are professionals in charge of maintaining positive business-to-business relationships in a company. They ensure that businesses with which their company partners are happy and engage in problem solving when they are not.
If you are the kind of person who loves working with people and problem solving in a fast-paced environment, a career in client relations could be fun and fulfilling. Client relationship manager skills include communication, organization, emotional intelligence and the ability to self-regulate under pressure. As in other customer service positions, hours and salaries can range widely from one company to the next.
Client relations managers are experts in building positive professional relationships between companies, and they do this through finding solutions in response to client concerns as well as through sales. They ensure clients are aware of the products or services that meet their needs.
Expect to work with computers and complete required paperwork in accordance with company policy and customer concerns and needs. Client relationship managers also work in concert with internal sales, marketing and management professionals. They may sometimes be responsible for overseeing other teams and setting and meeting projections.
An organization's client relations job description typically asks that candidates have a solid background in customer service, sales and/or marketing. Most client relationship associates have a bachelor's degree or higher in business administration, marketing or a related field. Some companies require additional on-the-job training courses once a new hire comes on board. The length of these courses might range from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on the industry.
Client relations associates are sometimes required to maintain a specialized license in their field. This is especially true if they work in insurance, real estate or the financial industry. Becoming licensed sometimes requires attending specialized courses but almost always involves passing an examination. Depending on the field, the license might need renewal or retesting at regular intervals.
Industry Effects on Client Relationship Managers
Client relationship managers work in a variety of settings depending on the size and industry of the company that employs them. Some client relationship managers work in large corporate settings and call centers, while others work in small business offices or even telecommute from home.
Hours can also vary depending on the industry. Some large corporations might employ around-the-clock client relationship managers for client support, while a small business's client relationship manager is only on-site during regular business hours.
Years of Experience and Salary
The median client relationship manager salary is $43,548 as of June 2019, which means that half earn more than this, and the other half earns less. This is higher than the national median salary for all customer service representatives, which is $33,750. The top 10% of client relations professionals earn more than $64,000, while the bottom 10% earns less than $35,000.
Salaries for client relationship managers do not always increase with experience and might even dip later in a career. One projection looks like this:
- Entry Level: $42,374
- Mid-Career: $51,204
- Experienced: $48,796
- Late Career: $40,000
Larger corporations sometimes employ directors of client relations who oversee teams of client relations managers. Their median salary is $83,235, so this might be a reasonable career track for client relations professionals seeking to secure a larger salary after a few years of experience.
Job Growth Trend
Job opportunities for all customer service representatives, including client relations associates, are expected to grow by 5% over the next decade, which is about as fast as in other industries. Call center positions for all customer service representatives are expected to grow by a whopping 36% over the next decade, so employment as a client relations manager in a larger corporation could bring more opportunity.