19 Nov 3 Pillars – We’ll Jump Around Though
3 Pillars – We’ll Jump Around Though
We believe that effective account management stands firmly on a balance of three essential pillars:
1) Understanding and Managing Client Expectations – Expectations are the key drivers of client satisfaction. Ultimately, people make value judgments about products or services based on how they actually perform versus their expectations of how they believe (or are led to believe) they should perform. Operating plans must be built and executed to consistently meet and exceed client expectations. Consistently exceeding prioritized corporate expectations drives provable and sustainable value for the client.
2) Nurturing Professional Relationships – Large and complex clients require multiple, interconnected relationships between stakeholders on both sides of the contract. Tenacity has perfected a proprietary process of identifying, evaluating, mapping and assigning accountability for these connections termed The Web of Influence®. Embedded within each of these connections is the responsibility to establish a “business relationship” and to develop rapport and earn trust – one relationship at a time.
3) Administering Technical Delivery – We have found that virtually all outsourcing relationships begin with two basic client needs: 1) solve my problems, and 2) innovate – show me how to do something – or do something better – that I’m unable to do for myself. The prioritized list of problems is defined by the client’s expectations. Innovation must be thoughtfully planned and strategically implemented. Success in these two tasks begins the creation of “Relevant Value” for the client and begins the construction of barriers to exit.
We’re going to have a great deal more to say about each of these three pillars in blog posts to come – but we’re going to jump around a bit from week to week. A little bit of “expectations” here – a touch of “relationships” there – you get the idea. Interspersed, we’ll address many other features of the Clients for Life® client retention process, as well as general thoughts and observations on account management and client retention.
Looking back – it would have been incredibly helpful to have had access to this wisdom early in our careers. The later in life we are, the more we realize the truth in the old saying: “Too soon old – too late smart”. We hope you’ll find a good way to share some of these thoughts with the younger people in your organization as we work our way through the process. We’re happy to admit that we’ve already made most of the mistakes that they might not have to repeat. Those real-world seminars are expensive – this blog is free.
Which of these 3 pillars seems most important to you? What missteps in account management have you made that you’d want others in your organization to be able to learn from?
John & Steve