Those in Need...Again
Members of the
Customer Centricity team and the First Baptist Church of Hudson, NH are
again headed to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi during the week of March
1, 2010, to build and/or refurbish homes, with Habitat for Humanity.
Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005,
destroying property and killing hundreds. Less than a month later, on
September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita also made landfall on the Gulf Coast,
extending the devastation even further. All told, more than half a
million homes were damaged or destroyed.
Four years later Habitat for Humanity still engages coastal Mississippi
families struggling with run down temporary shelter and poor housing
If you are interested in supporting the cause or would like to learn
www.firstgiving.com/firstbaptisthudson. We, and the people in need,
thank you in advance for your support.
Sponsorship for Strategic Accounts
This week we take a
break from our case study example outlining strategies and techniques
that one of our clients has put in place to effectively manage the
customer experience. This article will cover a best practice which firms
have either not (yet) implemented or attempted to implement with mixed
results. We'll cover how to "do it right."
If your company is like many, your plan of attack for 2010 is now in
effect to support achieving this year's goals. To get to this point,
numbers were crunched and investment opportunities were considered
(i.e., enhance, launch or sunset this or that product, upgrade or
implement this or that system, acquire or unload this or that facility,
etc.). All of these steps were taken with an eye towards increasing
revenue and/or decreasing cost.
With that said, did you stop to consider your single source of
revenue - the customer? More specifically, did you decide on
approaches to solidify key customer relationships, obtain direct and
ongoing input from their decision makers and ensure that the customers'
feedback is infused into your go-forward strategic and tactical
planning? If not, your planning was "inside-out" and you need to balance
that with an "outside-in" perspective.
There are a number of methods to accomplish the above. An approach that
offers a HUGE "bang for the buck" is that of directly connecting your
executives to customers and building a partner relationship.
While you may not be able to assign an executive to every customer, you
could at least start with those customers that are the most strategic.
With this in place, there are a number of activities you can perform to
generate direct benefits to your top and bottom-line. Following is a
step-by-step approach to implement an Executive Sponsorship process.
Determine how many executives (VP and above) will be
expected and/or are "qualified" to participate in the program.
Define the appropriate criteria (strategic, etc.) for
a customer to be included within the program. As you decide the
criteria you will want to consider the number of accounts each
executive will be assigned (on average) to avoid overloading anyone
and thus rendering the program ineffective. A suggested target is 5.
Define the ground rules that need to be adopted by the
participating executives (from your firm and the customer's). Key
ground rules include:
doesn't become (or perform as) the customer's help-desk or
immediate escalation point.
in order to get this level of attention, must reciprocate by
assigning an equivalent level executive sponsor from its
agree to a reasonably mutual exchange of information and ideas.
Communicate the program with the executives and
account managers expected to participate and obtain their
Assign each customer (based on specific criteria) to
an executive. When doing so consider the personality, profile,
geography of and any pre-existing relationships between the
customer, your account manager and the executive. This is certainly
not an exact science, but it is important to line up the best
Each executive meets with the account manager to
obtain a complete customer profile and history with the firm
services and/or contract / licensing status (are they
(decision makers, influencers, etc.), their needs and issues
benefit or ROI that the customer expects and/or is realizing
from their relationship with your firm
(past, present and anticipated)
initiatives (projects/implementations) underway and milestones
Account Manager and/or Executive Sponsor reach out to
the client to establish the "Executive Partnership." It is suggested
that, if at all possible, the initial meeting be face-to-face. The
agenda for this initial meeting would be to cover the customer's
profile (outlined above). It is also appropriate to ask the client
what he/she would like to cover at this meeting.
Conduct the meeting. Participants should include:
customer's organization: decision maker / executive and key
organization: executive sponsor, account manager and other
resources (i.e., technical account manager, project manager,
etc.) who have customer-specific insight germane to the
Commit to a recurring schedule which may include:
(more frequent if significant issues are present)
twice annual or annual meetings (face-to-face)
Account Manager and Executive Sponsor summarize
meeting minutes for:
Repeat steps 6 and 8 through 11 indefinitely.
Putting in place a program such as this creates open and active
executive-level dialog between your firm and the customer's which will
allow you to reap many rewards including:
Evolving the relationship to a strategic / partnership
level (vs. remaining a mere vendor)
Ensuring executives from across your organization
obtain direct insight from the customer and are able to and
accountable for "doing something about it."
Elevating awareness of the fact that improving the
customer experience does NOT simply mean "fix" the customer service
department. It goes WAY beyond that.
If you'd like to learn more about implementing an Executive Sponsorship
program, or tuning your existing program for better results, contact us
email or call 603-491-7948.
Stay tuned for subsequent editions of our newsletter in which we'll
complete our coverage of the case study example on Managing the Customer
+ CCI Serving Those in Need...Again
+Executive Sponsorship for Strategic
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Some Words From Our Customers
Check out what a customer
had to say about his experience with Customer
We contacted Customer
Centricity to help us increase business and launch our newly expanded
building and property management services. I was very impressed from the
start as they had us take a step back and provided an objective
perspective and approach to meet our challenge. From our "kick-off"
meeting through completion, they walked us through a step by step
approach, always being very responsive and available for consultation.
We looked at our customer base in a manner we hadn't before which helped
us understand how our customer base could be harvested from within as
well as approaches to effectively acquire new customers. The
implementation of their approach was very successful and we couldn't be
more pleased. I highly recommend Customer Centricity.
Peter M. Ciaraldi
Professional Building Services
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through
better service delivery and management.
We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support
teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other
key operations functions.
In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner
See What Our Customers Say