12 Mar A Reactive Company
A Reactive Company
I wonder if you think people tend to get more or less dogmatic as they get older. I think there is a positive side to dogmatism – “relative truth” in spiritual, moral and political realms can be corrosive and dangerous. On the other hand, there are areas where anti-dogmatism (aka – an open mind) is helpful for progress and growth. Perhaps we (Tenacity) have been slow to learn that our business is one of those areas.
While in the past, Tenacity has been characterized as dogmatic in our practice of account management and client retention (PD – thinking of you); I really think we’re becoming less so.
One clear example is that we’re now more open to offering a choice in using elements of the Clients for Life® client retention process, to assist clients to become the most reactive company they can be – or the most proactive. (We used to insist they be both — how dogmatic!)
As you recall, Clients for Life can be diagrammed as follows:
Your company can be highly reactive and responsive by picking and choosing specific process components and deploying them as follows:
FreshEyes® Reviews – Retain an independent 3rd party to conduct in depth face-to-face FreshEyes Reviews with your clients – particularly the key clients (those 20% that account for 80% of your income). Develop and execute specific Action Plans to address the issues that threaten your contract and follow up relentlessly.
Lessons Learned – Leverage the experience of your senior executives to elicit and memorialize the handful of reasons that account for 75 – 80% of all account losses. Layer in the “Warning Signs” that signal you that the reasons are occurring and detail the “Action Steps” you want your account managers to take whenever they see one of the signs. Follow up relentlessly.
PostMortem Audits™ – Obtain an objective, unbiased and unfiltered understanding of why clients cancel. Unless you know the real reasons, it’s very difficult to fix the underlying problems. As the reasons are specified and “Common Threats” begin to emerge, ensure they are incorporated into “Lessons Learned” to strengthen the data and manage the knowledge.
Transition Lite™ Meetings – Insist that your operators and account managers stay on top of key people changes in their client organizations and ensure they recognize them as a threat to the contract. Within 30 days of the change, they should meet with the new client, educate them on the history of the relationship, share the existing key indicators of performance, clearly understand and document the new person’s expectations and assure them of the organization’s commitment to their success. Oh – and of course, follow up relentlessly.
Undoubtedly, you can do a lot worse than to be accomplished as the most reactive company you can possibly be. If that’s what you would like your organization to become – we’ll help you get there. (That’s open-minded for us – the new us!) The new Tenacity Center for Account Management and Client Retention at The Coles College of Business (http:www.clientretention.com/the-center/) makes it easy and accessible.
Next week, we’ll talk about the proactive aspects of account management. Dogmatic indeed – I should say not!
Steve & John