There are a lot of factors to take into account when considering a course material fulfillment solution, like format and pricing options, making adoptions and delivery easier and customer service.
While those are all important things to consider, there’s one that has a major impact on your day-to-day relationship with your fulfillment partner: account management.
Any solution worth its salt will have a dedicated account manager to help you manage your online bookstore, but there are three surefire signs to tell if they stand above the pack and are fully invested in your school's future and success.
1. They keep in touch frequently and get back with you right away
Sometimes you’ll have questions or concerns. That’s natural — nothing goes perfectly 100% of the time. But what good is asking a question if you don’t hear back until it’s too late?
Your account management team shouldn’t be someone you chat with once in a blue moon when you bump into each other at the supermarket. A good, dedicated account manager will be in touch regularly, making sure things are going smoothly and being on hand to answer any questions you may have — ideally within 24 hours. That level of contact makes a huge difference.
2. They contact you with a problem before it’s a problem
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If a book you’ve been using is going out of print, getting a call about choosing a new adoption several months before lists are due can save a lot of time and headache.
A great account manager will keep an eye on your store and recognize issues before they cause problems for your school. This way, you can nip issues in the bud as early and easily as possible. This can keep small problems from becoming big problems, or pending issues from becoming a problem at all.
3. They’re knowledgeable and on top of industry trends
Working at a school is more than a full-time job. It can be hard to keep an eye on the future and track trends in matters that affect your online store, like the growing popularity of digital materials, OER and other topics.
Having an account manager who’s got their eyes on the present with their hands in the future is an invaluable resource for your school. Staying current with the trends helps you give your students the cost-saving, digitally innovative materials they want and let you maintain or build your marketshare, without having to play catch-up later.
Having someone who is passionate about their job and on top of everything that's going on at your school can be the difference between a good account management experience and a great one. Keeping that in mind can really help you hone in on the right solution that works best for you!