In my experience as an Account Manager, an Annual Customer Review can be vastly different from one organization to another. The review can be a look at past performance/utilization, provide a picture of the current state or even a more forward looking view of what is coming in the next 12 to 18 months for your customer. I would like to provide my insights into new ways of thinking about customer reviews.
Let’s begin with a common definition of an Annual Customer Review. Simply stated, an Annual Customer Review is an annual face to face meeting with you and your customer to discuss the state of the account. How someone chooses to interpret what the level of customer discussion should be and the content that is provided during the review can be accomplished in many different ways.
We need to step back and ask ourselves this question first, "What should a Customer Review really be for our customers?" The Customer Review can be a strategic discussion that is solely focused on your customer. Make the review your opportunity to speak to your customer about their business. The review meeting allows you to gain perspective and insight on what your customer’s top challenges and priorities are with each business owner in attendance.
An Annual Customer Review is the right thing to do for our customers, but many in sales really don’t understand the true value that performing an Annual Customer Review can bring. If you begin to think past the negative aspects of pulling off a successful review i.e. creating that PowerPoint presentation, pulling together meaningful information to share, e-mails to various internal team members to gather feedback; the review can be a positive experience for you and your customer.
In my next blog I will be discussing some commonly held myths about the Annual Customer Review process.