The Customer Company Review is the privileged meeting, quarterly or semi-annually, between you and your customer to inventory the relationship.
Although each company has its own “template“, a customer account review should never resemble anyone else. Far too often there is copying and pasting from one customer to another and the lack of personalization means you cannot optimize this crucial exchange in your business relationship. Every customer is different and you should take this into account when preparing your assessment.
What questions should you ask yourself before preparing?
Whether it’s quarterly or semi-annually, this moment of focus is key to nurturing your relationship. Ask yourself about the changes that have taken place since the last review, within your company and with your customer: economic context, innovation, geographical expansion, company takeover, merger, downsizing, etc. And focus only on the changes that have or will have a significant impact on your relationship with your customer.
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For example, if your customer has merged with another company, the review is an opportunity to risks and possibilities for your solution/product and to prepare an action plan in advance.
Analyze them successes and their factors to where the but also less happy experiences and anticipate them points of improvement so that your client realizes that you have an honest vision of the relationship and that you are there, in a process of optimization and co-construction with him.
Which data meets which KPIs?
In order not to “contaminate” your account reviews with too much data, it is essential that you: connect the data to present according to your customer’s KPIs. Not all customers have the same goals. It is therefore important to choose the data you present carefully.
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A classic mistake is the temptation to use lots of numbers to demonstrate your analytical skills and the seriousness of your work. This practice often leads to a lack of listening on the part of your client who is at risk of drowned in a multitude of data half of which do not interest him. While if you personalize your presentation only with data that matches his KPIs will you have his full attention because you are there to help him achieve his goals. This does not prevent you from adding some extra data to open the reflection at new points, but know how to dose.
Presenting data is good, letting them talk is better.
As your client’s “manager”, it’s up to you to analyze the data you present if you want to provoke a constructive conversation and agree on concrete future actions. Apply the “something” exercise when choosing the data to present, you can determine its relevance to your client and adopt the attitude of an advisor, an important factor of trust.
For example, if your client’s KPIs revolve around employee efficiency and software solution adoption, your “dashboards” should focus on saving time by employees, the penetration rate and use of the solution, the actions to be taken to convince users to adopt its use.
Who do you talk to and how?
When planning your assessment, you need to know who the interlocutors are present during this exchange in order to be able to customize your content and vocabulary to use. Every business and every profession has its jargon. To captivate your audience, it is essential to use it to get your messages across and avoid misunderstandings, while showing your customer that you know not only their environment, but also the various business functions involved in the relationship with you.
It can sometimes be difficult to use the vocabulary of each subject if you have many different interlocutors during the assessment. To choose the most relevant one, focus on the most important interlocutors influential in the relationship for your written presentation. This doesn’t stop you from reformulating during the assessment to address related participants.
For example, if you have contacts in purchasing and sales during your review, you will need to address the topics of economy, quality of service, user satisfaction and the effectiveness of the sales teams that your solution/product brings.
Tailor your account rating to your customer’s buying cycle
Depending on your position in your customer’s buying cycle, you adopt a different attitude.
When you are at the beginning of the relationship, the initial assessment will focus on the implementation of the relationship with its strengths and any corrective actions. You are still in the discovery phase of your account and do not necessarily know all parameters or all interlocutors. This review is a great opportunity to ask questions and continue exploring your account.
You still have a reinsurance role to your client about his choice and your ability to serve. Don’t go too fast to push other solutions or products, because trust takes time to build.
Mid cycleyou begin to feel more comfortable in the relationship and can initiate topics to expand your intervention reach, present innovations and ask to meet new people who may be interested in your services/products.
Towards the end of the cycle, you are in a crucial phase to avoid the next tender and, if possible, get an extension of your contract. Your review must of course show the satisfaction of users of your services/products, your innovations, the market data that emphasize your positioning and that your customer is not interested in challenging you in a new tender. policy allows).
Finally, you will have understood that an account review is unique for every customer according to its objectives, its vocabulary, its interlocutors, its purchasing cycle. So drop the standards, keep your logo, and start from scratch to build this review.
It is yours privileged moment to keep your customers by making them feel unique and that you fully understand their specificities.
To know more
Carole Poillerat, founder of ComSense. It now supports companies of all sizes in their marketing and commercial optimization, also provides training and animation of conferences and customer advisory boards.