I was recently reminded of the importance of this practice when a client reported they had just lost five large customers. After a series of questions, I told the client, “I’m not overly troubled by the loss of the customers, based on the facts (i.e., these events often seem to occur in waves); however, I’m very concerned that your company was caught by surprise. That really bothers me.”
A best practice we frequently recommend to our clients is to conduct Client (Customer) Service Review (CSR) meetings for their clients/customers — and that’s what we suggested to this executive. On our website, go to the Resource page and scroll down to Other Essays & Articles. There, you’ll find what I call a CSR Checklist. The checklist provides an exhaustive list of best practices.
One of the most significant conversations you can have during the CSR involves discovering the identities of your “insiders.” In my October 5, 2015 blog post, I discussed what the book The New Strategic Selling calls “coaches.” I like to call them “insiders.”
Consider the individuals at your major clients/customers. Who will tip you off and let you know that you’re in trouble? Maybe you offended someone inadvertently, or maybe a competitor has made some inroads.
Who will tell you?