Business Insights – Maximising Business Value & Effectiveness – Customer Relationships

A business insight by Peter Watson

For the majority of businesses it is the power of the customer relationships that provides most of the value, and so it is no surprise that this is also one of the first areas to come under scrutiny when evaluating the overall success and value of the business.

Most businesses we speak to are confident that they have very good relationships with their customers, but very few can actually prove it. Below are just a few ways that can help evidence just how good your relationships are:
Customer longevity – evidence is almost always available through your customer database and other contact records and, of course, your invoices.

What is your renewal rate or level of repeat business? When customers leave can you demonstrate the reasons?
Service levels – ideally the business will have a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data available. Happy customers should be encouraged to voice their opinions through feedback surveys and gathering testimonials. You may also be able to demonstrate customer referrals.

You may also be able to demonstrate customer referrals, or adherence to Service Level Agreements (SLA’s).
All this requires data, and not just for the current period. To have impact, the trends need to be recorded, so you can prove customer satisfaction is actually evident and improving.

If you fail to provide sufficient evidence, don’t be surprised when people assume the worst and fail to meet your expectations of value, or  insist on meeting some of your key customers before a deal is done!