Home > Customer Relationship Management > Customer Relationship Management: 3 Guiding Principles to Consider

Customer Relationship Management: 3 Guiding Principles to Consider

In the B2B Services environment, developing meaningful client and customer relationships should be paramount to your companies strategy.

So what makes them meaningful? In my personal business experience, it is the degree of value that each organization derives from the relationship.

If both client and service provider partner are quantifiably way better off because of that relationship and if those benefits are transcended down to the individual associate level (not only in the form of monetary reward, but also when the working relationships provide a feel good, win-win rewarding experience with a sense of purpose to them), than I would suggest the relationships are meaningful.

Here are 3 principles that may help get you there:

1: Take a Total View of the Customer Relationship (Holistic View)

Everyone in your organizations needs to have a Total View of your client/customer relationships. That means they need to know the depth of the customer relationships down to the unique business units and customer departments that you do business with. All levels of management, customer service and delivery personnel should, at the very least, be cognizant of these relationships. Senior leaderships drive this thinking. Basically, taking a total view approach means looking through the eyes of your customer.

For instance; How deep do these relationships go? How do the relationships with one business unit or department effect and/or influence the relationships with other business units or departments?

Understanding who your clients are, and who their customers are and what their primary and tertiary objectives are is fundamental to taking a total view approach. How can you, as the service provider/partner improve your clients customers experience? What are the individual roles/functions within your client organization and how do those individuals contribute in the  team context to the business unit and/or department?

Your firms delivery personal, customer facing reps and management need to deep dive into what really makes the relationship work and continually improve.

2: Understand and manage expectations: What is required by the client, how is it required, why is it important and how will it impact both organizations? What are we really delivering? What does the client need and what do they expect on a daily, weekly, monthly basis from our service offerings? Which challenges do they face that we can realistically address?

Discussing these questions with your clients is a good first step in jointly establishing the right set of expectations for performance delivery of your products & services, personnel and technology.

Once those expectations are established, a robust way to measure and track performance is usually a good idea. The more transparent and open this process is the better. Having the right metrics and a way to report those findings is key to adjusting and tweaking service delivery to your clients.

Their are multiple software tools out there which can be embedded into your systems that can help you establish and report as necessary.

3: Communicate, Communicate Communicate:

Need I say more? Having effective feedback loops through all depths and levels of the relationship is paramount. Its the only way to keep the relationship going.

Tying this all together and in summary, I have had success using methodologies such as  Kaizen and Kaizen Quality Circles. For me, it has helped establish and maintain deep customer relationships in the B2B Services Environment.

Interested in hearing your thoughts and feedback on Customer Relationship Management.

Don Sedy

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