Are You Paying Attention to Your Contractors, Vendors, Account Executives and Customer Complaints? If Not, You Should.

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The manner, in which CRM is entrenched and expressed in an organization, is contingent on how each business unit and the corporate culture understands and supports a CRM platform. Firms who maintain a CRM report card on contractors and vendors (internal and external; seen and unseen) send a resounding message to consumers that they value their business as well as their relationship. Relationship centric firms should routinely host annual Customer Satisfaction and CRM Contractor/Vendor Forums; where awards (and future business opportunities) are given to the top three contractor or vendor firms – those with the highest Customer Satisfaction and CRM metrics – you get what you measure. Conversely, contractors and vendors who routinely produce poor Customer Satisfaction and CRM performance results should be eliminated – your goal is customer retention and satisfaction; not maintaining a army of non-value added external supporters.

Hence, for a viable and long-term business and consumer relationship, companies must provide a win-win environment from the consumers’ perspective. Taking matters a step further, account management and annual account executive (AE) evaluations are imperative to sustain or develop a win-win situation for consumers. A method in which a firm can ensure stellar account management, but is now limited to, is to perform annual performance evaluations on their account representatives. Such evaluations should be performed through the eyes and voices of customers or clients (one-on-one interviews). Third party consultants tend to obtain and provide unbiased inactions and feedback from your best customers and effectively document AE’s performance.

Value and make use of customer complaints! For many firms and their employees, there exists a belief that customer complaint resolution is a nuisance and avoidance behaviors often occur. For such companies, complaint resolution is the unfavorable residue of doing business. However, researchers and marketers believe that complaints are worth their weight in gold. When root causes are carefully performed, assessed, and addressed complaint resolution tend to prevent customer defections. Investigators have long determined that for every customer complaint, there are 10 passive customers who do not complain; but instead take their business elsewhere (DeSouza, 1992).

Dr. Johnny D. Magwood
Northeast Utilities Service Company
V.P. Customer Experience & Chief Customer Officer; Northeast Utilities Service Company. J. D. Power Smart Grid Advisory Council; Chairman- Housing Authority Baltimore City; Next Generation Utilities Advisory Board; Utility Knowledge Customer Service Council; CS Advisory Council; Magistrate Judge Seletion Committee. Marketing Executive Council; Mechanical Engineer - The Johns Hopkins University; MBA - Loyola University of Maryland; DBA - University of Phoenix; Doctoral dissertation; Mergers and Acquisition: The Role of Corporate Executives' Relationships with Stakeholders

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