A relationship manager works at a customer- or client-driven organization. His job varies depending on the nature of the customer relationship but his primary role is to maintain and grow strong relationships between the company and its valued customers. Sometimes, the relationship manager works more on resolving complaints. In other companies, he is more proactive in strengthening already good relationships.
Relationship management positions typically require some form of college degree, especially when the position involves supervision. In its posting for a commercial banking relationship manager, for instance, Mars National Bank indicated that a college degree in business administration, accounting or finance was preferred. Many colleges now offer programs in relationship management or business degrees with emphasis in this area.
Customer Service Skills
As the title suggests, strong customer service skills are a primary qualification for a relationship manager. Typically, he is the highest authority on customer service in the organization. He needs the ability to understand what customers want and to resolve customer complaints with skill. Relationship managers in a store setting often provide service face-to-face, while others work with customers on the phone or through other communication formats.
TotalJobs.com notes excellent communication and listening skills first on its list of qualifications for a relationship manager position. This coincides with customer service skills in the sense that you have to listen to understand customer problems and convey responses verbally. Good sales and negotiation skills go along with communication skills in that relationship managers sometimes negotiate through issues with customers and may do some add-on selling along with providing service.
Focused on Details
Detail orientation is also included among TotalJobs.com qualifications. This includes technical computer skills and basic math skills. Relationship managers cannot afford to have simple oversights or to fail to deliver on commitments to customers. As the person responsible for strengthening customer relationships, critical mistakes not only ruin specific customer relationships, but they also can damage the company's overall reputation in the marketplace. Negative word of mouth spreads quickly when customers have had bad experiences.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.