Customer Advocacy Framework - Internal Management Review
Continuing on our Customer Advocacy journey, this edition
completes the process framework by ensuring that management is keenly
aware of the nature, resolution status, root-cause, and sustained costs of
escalated customer issues. To do this, we will cover the topic of Internal
Internal Management Review is a critical aspect of the Customer Advocacy
framework that ensures senior management is aware of:
at-risk (even explosive) account situations so that
decisions can be made about engaging the customer to demonstrate the
level of internal awareness of the situation and the commitment to
resolve the matter
progress being made to resolve the customer situation,
to enable senior management to assign greater attention and resources if
things are not on track
root-cause issues that disrupt the customer experience
and the business so that appropriate attention can be given to
the costs to the business resulting from escalated
the effectiveness of the process and the
organization's response to the situation
To address the above objectives, we will now cover the
components of internal management review: meetings and supporting tasks.
Internal Review Meeting
Like any meeting, the internal review meeting is most effective with the
right participants, frequency, and agenda.
Participation in the internal review meeting consists of customer
advocates who are actively engaged in a customer situation. Mandatory
participation will typically include senior management (Director, VP and
above) from Sales (Account Management), Service, Technical Support,
Professional Services, Engineering and other organizations that have a
direct impact on the customer experience. Other participants are requested
on an as-needed basis.
The internal management review meeting is typically conducted on a weekly
basis, but may be adjusted to occur more or less frequently depending on
the nature and volume of escalated customer situations at your firm.
The agenda will include a review of all issues that have required Customer
Advocacy engagement. During the meeting, the team will review new
situations, provide a situation update (progress and conditions that may
have transpired to exasperate the situation) on previously identified
items and finally confirm which situations have been closed out.
During the review process, it is important to identify factors
contributing to the situation, obstacles to resolution of the immediate
issue and support needed to achieve timely closure. Once the immediate
customer situation has been addressed, it is then important to obtain
management commitment to put in place the improvements necessary to
resolve the root-cause issues and a date that an update will be provided
to the group on progress against that commitment.
The main documents that will support this review include the list of open
customer advocacy engagements and the individual situation summaries
prepared by the respective customer advocates.
The following measurement criteria are suggested to monitor (and
demonstrate) the effectiveness of the process and the impact sustained by
the business because of the need to engage a customer advocate:
Ratio of customers to customer advocacy engagements.
This measurement will help determine if there are increasingly fewer
customer advocacy engagements as your customer base continues to grow.
Count of customer advocacy engagements by "reason for
engagement." This measurement will help determine if the root-cause
issues are being resolved and where attention is warranted.
Duration of customer advocacy engagements. This will
help determine if you are responding in a timely manner to resolve
escalated customer situations and the right resources are being applied.
Customer Advocacy engagements by customer segment,
business unit and product line. This will identify any troublesome
trends with regards to a customer segment, business unit or product line
that needs heightened attention to ensure customer retention and ongoing
Level of effort and expenses incurred as a result of
each engagement. Quantifying the impact (from a dollars and cents
perspective) is the icing on the cake to ensure effective prioritization
of initiatives that will need to be undertaken to resolve root-cause
This closes out the reactive/responsive aspects of customer advocacy,
which is often required by firms as they embark on the journey of
improving their customers' experiences. By implementing a process similar
to that which we have described, you will ensure that escalated customer
issues are responded to in a consistent, methodical and timely manner.
And, more importantly, that root-cause resolution takes place to ensure
that similar incidents don't occur to the same or additional customers.
The result: increased customer satisfaction and retention along with
improved operational efficiencies that provide a direct impact on
The next edition will begin covering the proactive aspects of customer
advocacy, enabling you to get into the heart and mind of your customer to
build long-term profitable relationships.
View previous articles in this series.
+ Customer Advocacy Framework - Internal Management
+ Recommended Reading
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Advocacy series has discussed the importance of root-cause analysis and
elimination. How many times has bad or missing data been the root-cause of
one of your customer problems? "Excellent customer management depends
on getting the right information to the right people at the right time in
the right format" writes William Blundon in his CRM Magazine
Building a Single View of Customers. Accurate customer data is
critical for so many reasons. Mr. Blundon takes readers through the steps
for creating a single view of customer information. With this in place,
everyone - employees, managers, customers - will be much happier.
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Contact us with your suggestions.
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