a client relationship in peril-a case study
Most companies have been through it, a key customer who inadvertently receives repeated poor service and now they are threatening to go to a competitor. Telling you that you might not even get a chance to bid to keep them.
Can you save this client? And, can you do it in a way that you don’t jeopardize service to your other clients?
The good news? They told you upfront instead of just walking out the door. Now, it’s up to you to save them. Here’s how C3 helped one company.
- C3’s Client A received notification from a key customer (driver of over 10% of total revenue) that, as a result of several recent instances of poor service delivery, the customer requested an audit of data and practices which identified significant sources and number of errors.
- Following the audit and lack of follow through by Client A to resolve the audit issues, Client A was informed that the service provided to customer would be going out for an RFP.
- Client A was advised the only way they would even be allowed to respond to the RFP was to resolve a series of negotiated issues within a 90-day period.
- Figure out what went wrong.
- Retain the customer.
- Avoid compromising other customers in the process.
- Leverage process improvements across all customer groups.
Often when key profit center is in peril, companies panic and rush to into placation mode before taking a step back to uncover exactly what went wrong and advise. Take the time to follow this 3-step process:
Understand the problems and select the problem-solving team, before you jump to a fix. Identify:
- The concerns of the customer and outline a timeline to address.
- Who will be a part of the project team and own the issues.
Once you understand the problem. Take time to consider why they exist:
- Examine cultural issues. In this case, they included a bias toward cost containment and resulting stated customer value prop targeted at expense management. Client had A elected to use low paid staff and minimal automation to contain costs and this tactic was failing.
- Use process analysis. Here, Client A was utilizing a QA based on limited sample size and only on the end result. There was no QA on data entering the system. This lead to a significant percentage of errors processed “correctly” but due to the bad data, resulting in an incorrect outcome.
In this case, the identification process uncovered a need for:
- A single staff person to serve as relationship manager for all issues related to the account. The previous model had a “shared pool” approach which often resulted in a lack of cohesion related to the customer issues.
- A customer experience process which includes data being pulled from all key areas where the customer could interact with Client A. This process needed to be adopted so that information could be retrieved at the customer level as well as the process level for better identification of “early warning signs” and trends.
- Ongoing audit data to identify a combination of efforts both technical/automation focused as well as process focused including the addition of multiple “check points” throughout the process to allow the team time to remediate errors prior to them reaching the customer.
The time spent identifying the issues, analyzing the problem and working through how best to incorporate your discoveries paid off in this case.
Client A was able to retain the customer and extend these improved practices across its entire customer base.
C3 Consulting helps financial service providers build and maintain success in times of great transition—times like these. An award-winning, record-breaking industry expert, we can help you identify issues across your organization, plan your moves and implement a cohesive, thoughtful strategy.