An Uncomfortable Truth: Your Most Important Customers Are Talking About You


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We don’t need to remind you that these are difficult times. Keeping your best customers is the key to stabilizing your business, growing revenue, and maintaining cash flow. And keeping these customers is critical during any economic climate, but as purse strings get tighter, supplier scrutiny becomes more severe.

An Uncomfortable Truth
At this moment, your best customers are very likely looking to reduce costs and increase the value they are receiving from all of their suppliers, your company included. Virtually every large customer is both reviewing and evaluating each of their key suppliers — or they will do so very soon. How will your company fare in this supplier review?

Is your company conforming to your customers’ requirements in the areas of product quality, innovation, and value? Is your account force responsive to your customers? Do your account people really understand the need behind the customer’s need? In other words, do your account teams really know how they can help your customers serve their customers? Do you help your customer compete and win in their marketplace?

Are you sure of the answers your customers will give?

How the Strong Survive – and Thrive
If your most important customers are reviewing your performance, why not be part of the conversation? Now is the time to proactively ask your customers about your performance. Taking a structured and open approach to gathering face-to-face feedback from key decision makers at your customer organizations can help turn adversaries into allies.

Take your customers’ input, however harsh it might be. Listen without being defensive. Let them know what issues you will address immediately and which problems will take longer to fix. Taking action and communicating will build your customers’ trust, and trust is essential to your competitive position, in good times and in bad.

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Nick Wassenberg
E.G. Insight helps companies listen to their customers. We work with mostly Fortune 1 B2B companies, like industrial manufacturers, engineering/construction firms, health care and insurance providers, among others. We help our client implement customized methods to capture in-depth feedback from critical business relationships. My role at E.G. Insight is to tell the story that's found in customers' feedback and help our clients take action. So, I'm a customer feedback analyst, ombudsman, and marketing metrics geek.


  1. Enjoyed your post. You’re so right about needing to be part of the conversation. This past was filled with examples of those conversations happening from six very different perspectives. My biggest take away from all those examples, was the conversation needs to be timely and genuine.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment Todd.

    I couldn’t agree more about the importance of timely and genuine conversations…I think the challenges facing many companies (and individuals, really) is that now more than ever, critical conversations are taking place through multiple channels.

    Not taking an active role in listening can be fatal.

    Looking forward to digging into your blog in more detail…thanks!

    Nick Wassenberg


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