An old airline TV commercial opened on a scene of a sales team gathered around a conference table. The manager told them that he just got a call from their largest client informing him that they were taking their business elsewhere. In his hands was a stack of envelopes. He then stated that getting that news was a wake up call; they had dropped the ball on serving this client well enough to earn the right to keep their business. The closing scene showed the sellers getting one of the envelopes containing roundtrip airline tickets so each could meet key clients that week.
It's been said that more clients are lost due to benign neglect than for any other reason. In other words, we must always be on guard against complacency. Below are three instances when teams may fail to live up to a client's expectations.
When the hunter closes the deal then hands the client over to an account manager, programmer, internal sales team, etc.
This hand-off needs to be seamless from the client's perspective. The client should witness that each member of your team is genuinely concerned about them and continuously bubbles up ideas. Otherwise it's a red flag that your team has lost interest and your client may seek new solutions elsewhere.
When the business is growing and things seem to be going smoothly.
At times like these there is a tendency to celebrate and back down from doing the necessary behaviors that generated the growth to begin with. The best time to meaningfully engage in business development is all the time. Keep moving.
When internal processes and procedures get in the way.
A team that begins to communicate less frequently may be too caught up in the stresses of meeting internal deadlines. Quality output will never trump the need to provide fanatical client service. Make the client part of your process with regular updates. Tell them what's happening, good and bad. Following up and following through will set you apart and deepen your client's trust.
Prepare for success by identifying complacency issues before they result in dissatisfied clients.