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The Danger in Providing Excellent Customer Experience

Here is a frightening but too-common scenario. A long-standing business customer has received top-notch product quality and support but suddenly decides to bid the work out. Or despite a long stretch of flawless performance from you as a key vendor, your customer (or his or her boss) over-reacts to a random or relatively small quality problem. In that case you naturally ask, "Why is this happening? We have delivered so consistently to this customer and handled whatever problems came up, so why now ?"

it can be a tough lesson to forget how the bar on customer expectations only moves in one direction — up. When you execute consistently, the buyer will expect even more in due time or be promised more by your competitor. So be advised that customer experience delivery goals must be set higher and measures of success reset collaboratively between vendor and buyer from time to time.

I have become a big believer in quarterly business reviews (QBRs) with business customers becoming more than just updates on initiatives and issues. Including a, "What's New?" agenda topic allows your sales/account teams to hear new thinking, applications or client struggles using your solutions. In turn, your teams update their clients on relevant changes or practices observed in the industry. In executive interviews, buyers say how valuable it is hear from their vendor, stories of how other leading practitioners solve problems. 

Another key opportunity for providers during QBR meetings is to sum up the full value being delivered. For example, show the progress made toward any mutual goals for success that were set earlier. For issues came up that quarter, tell how they were resolved and the positive impact for the client. If your team has any creative ideas or improvements for the way your clients uses your solutions or services, share those or sum up prior suggestions made. Last but not least, show the evidence of wider or more effective usage of your solution at the buyer or as it impacts their customers, to round out the value story that can be relayed in QBRs.

The only way you can be "too good" is when customers forget or never knew how good you really are. Thinking of your key accounts, do direct customer contact and other decision makers there know the value of what you do? How does that value get measured and communicated?

 

About the Author

Jeff Marr

Jeff Marr

Marr provides thought leadership to Walker and the customer strategy profession. In keeping with the newest proven approaches, Marr designs services used in client engagements. This includes facilitating customer-driven action by clients at the corporate, functional and account team levels, and creating new measurement solutions. Formal approaches Jeff helped create and launch include value mapping, account engagement, strategic assessment, won/lost bid assessment, and assessing lost/diminished customers.

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