You stayed at one of those chain hotels last week and the email just popped up in your inbox, the one you always receive.
Along with confirming your number of points and offering their deepest gratitude, the hotel is seeking your feedback via the electronic survey attached to the email. And, they’re asking you to provide ratings in some pre-selected categories. Categories like quality of food, friendliness of staff, cleanliness of room, durability of shower cap, and others drawn up by the chain’s marketing department.
On the night of your visit, though, your room was across the hall from the elevator and next to the ice machine and vending area. You didn’t sleep a wink. But, noise level was not one of the choices you were given to gauge your satisfaction level. Shaking your head, you summarily delete the email and tell yourself that you’ll never stay in that hotel again.
In Sandler Enterprise Selling, we’ve learned a lot over the years about client satisfaction – the dos and the don’ts. Needless to say, this B-to-C hotel example clearly highlights one of the don’ts, a mistake that you’d think would be a rarity in serving large enterprise accounts.
But, truthfully, it happens all the time. It is all too common for selling organizations in the enterprise world to make the same mistake when seeking information about their client’s satisfaction level – they provide the same type of boilerplate criteria and miss the mark on so many levels.
Client-Centric Satisfaction Tool
We propose and practice a completely different philosophy through our Client-Centric Satisfaction Tool. As opposed to providing your treasured enterprise clients with pre-selected criteria, satisfaction factors that may have nothing to do with the specific client’s interests or issues, Client-Centric Satisfaction asks the clients to define success and satisfaction. Their view, not yours.
A suggested list of potential factors are provided with this tool, options such as communication, responsiveness, knowledge transfer, etc. But the actual selection of what’s really important is made by the only party that matters regarding satisfaction – the client.
How does the Sandler Enterprise Selling Client-Centric Satisfaction process work?
Ask What Matters
At the outset of a business relationship with a client, members of the sales and delivery teams go together to meet with the new client to ask what’s most important to them. Think about that moment. The business is won and the contract is signed. In many ways, the client’s goals are your goals, their successes are your successes. The honesty needle points way up.
Had you asked what was most important six weeks ago in the midst of the pursuit, you’d have heard about lower prices, more pro bono services, etc. But things change when prospects become clients. The word “partnership” becomes relevant and those mutual, shared goals create a bond between organizations and people.
Knowing what’s most important to your new client clearly increases your chances of successful delivery, but it also drives account growth as your proposed solutions for future business opportunities with your client will resonate with everything you’ve learned. Everything that’s most important to your client.
But, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.