Service Tracking (Capability #2)

Once a client strategy has been designed and kicked off, the real work of implementation begins. Relationship managers, salespeople, and all other client facing professionals now have to engage clients with a new purpose. But how do managers know whether the team is executing based on the new plan and gauge whether the new program is having a meaningful impact on clients? The Client Management function should be able to track and monitor service activity. In many ways this is perceived as a painful thing to do, with many client professionals feeling as if there is additional scrutiny on their work with “big brother” makings. Many managers also feel that instituting policies and technologies aimed at monitoring their staff’s work will alienate them from their team and create a breach of trust.

FeebackThe key to success of the strategy is for Client Management to frame service tracking as a productivity tool that will help client-facing teams use information to enhance their interactions with clients.[more…] There is a huge distinction between systems that capture client interactions for the purpose of management oversight and systems that capture data which then feeds insights back to salespeople to make their jobs easier and more productive. I would argue that without a feed-back flow of information, salespeople will completely distrust the system and find ways to game it, or be completely resistant to adoption. The most talented individuals with the best client relationships will probably be the first to push back because they know they have leverage over the organization.

Activities that should be tracked include phone calls, meetings, and emails. Important documents, like contracts and pricing sheets, should also be stored in the same location as other client data so that client-facing individuals have a single repository of critical client information (to the degree that’s sensible and minimizes risks of information leakage from the company, of course). Any notes or client color should also be documented and logged into the system. Call reports should be required to be written and logged following any important client meetings or calls. There is always a lot of resistance to institutionalizing this, but what we have found is a lot of this is already being done, mostly through emails, but these are not being captured in a system that allows for information tracking and sharing.

What’s incredible to see is that once the ball gets rolling and salespeople start using the information collected, productivity shoots up and everyone becomes dependent on the data. Managers will benefit from this virtuous pattern by having robust client service tracking that, when reviewed in aggregate on a periodic basis, brings the client strategy to life.

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