The people who engage and pay you (your clients) might be different to the people you provide a service to (the client’s customers).
Acting as an extension of the client’s business is different to acting for yourself.
No matter how much commercial sense it makes on paper, giving over any part of their business to a supplier to manage – especially when it involves their customers – will make your clients nervous at best. At worst, it can make them feel like they’re being operated on without an anaesthetic.
Recently, the Commonwealth Bank’s insurance arm, CommInsure, has been the focus of a Fairfax Media/Four Corners investigation which alleges that CommInsure has pressured doctors to alter or delete medical records and opinions so it can avoid paying claims. CommInsure covers nearly 3 million people through its contracts to offer life and total permanent disability policies to members of nine industry and two public sector super funds. Since the investigation, several of these funds have publicly demanded assurances from CommInsure regarding the treatment of their members, and it has been reported that CommInsure risks the loss of contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars as a result.
“Your customer is my customer.” It’s an easy thing to say, but not so easy to get right. Here are five ways to deliver exemplary service to your clients’ customers, and to make sure that your good intentions in doing so are always on show.
- Survey customers frequently, and provide honest feedback to the client about what they say about you.
- Commit to improving your service, follow through and explain what you did and why you did it.
- When contemplating a course of action with an individual customer, ask: "is this what our client would want us to do?"
- Get out in front of problems. Own up, show up, and fix it up - fast.
- Provide a narrative stream of good news in your regular performance reports. This will counteract any negative news, which often gets a disproportionate amount of airtime (and shouting).
|Robyn Haydon is a business development consultant specialising in business that is won through competitive bids and tenders. Her clients have won and retained hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business with many of Australia’s largest corporate and government buyers.|
Re-Engage is my training and coaching program for organisations with multiple major accounts. It will give your people the framework, skills, and confidence to lead contract renewals with your existing customers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03 9557 4585 to find out more.