They are a major client - worth millions of dollars. You have bent over backwards for them, taking them from a mess to a functioning program that your Account manager takes great pride in.
The challenge with the Account Manager is that he believes the client OWES him their loyalty.
Here is a NEWS FLASH:
The client owes you NOTHING!
It is very simple: In your pricing structure, you declared the products/services they purchased from you were worth $X and they paid you $X.
They paid you for the products/services rendered! You’re EVEN! Technically, they owe you NOTHING!
You and your account team MUST understand that they have to earn the right to retain this client all over again every single week. And here is why…
Your client is not a protected account, free from competition. They are being targeted by the best “hunters” your competition can muster! Your competition is trying to find problems they can solve so that they may create value and get their foot in the door. If your Account Team is not doing the same thing, then you look weaker relative to the value the competition is bringing to the table.
This is a fundamental problem we see with companies and client facing organizations. They believe because they take calls after hours or because they bailed the client out of a bind, that they client owes them their loyalty. Again, you need to adopt the mindset that they paid you for the services rendered: YOU'RE EVEN!
The fact is, like a company stock ticker, some days you might be trading up (the value of the relationship) and some days you are trading down. Perhaps you go above and beyond one week for your client. They have a tremendous appreciation for you and you are trading up. But then the client encounters an operational issue the next week and you are causing them significant problems and you're trading down.
And what about Changing of the Guard® whereby a change in the new Key Decision Maker takes place? How does your company handle that? Just consider:
Nearly 40% of client defections occur due to Changing of the Guard® whereby there is a new Key Decision Maker change
22% of client defections due to lack of innovation
20% of client defections occur due to shortfalls in service
With ClientFit® Key Account Management web app, you can! As you can see from the Monday Morning Report below, the health of an account can vary from week to week and month to month. Having a proactive way to monitor the health of an account creating actionable insights designed to advance the relationship and ensure continued client retention and expansion.
This company has accounts that are near exit (red) and only accounts that are collaborative relationships (green). The rest of the accounts are yellow, meaning there are operational or relationship issues that are preventing them from being green. These issues need to be addressed. If they are not, you are inevitably creating an opportunity for the competition to solve the problems.
At Butler Street, we specialize in client and talent development. We understand that the toughest thing to do is to win a new client and the second toughest is the retain them. If your company does not have a key account plan designed to measure and advance client relationships, click CONTACT and let’s talk.