Early in my career, one of the hallmarks of customer service excellence was the prevalence of periodic “business reviews.”  Business reviews are formal meetings that function as a “checkup” on vendor and contract performance. For several decades these reviews were offered by most large vendors throughout the course of a contract to assess past performance and set goals for the next period. Business reviews should not be thrown together as part of an 11th hour pitch before a renewal.

The best time to set up a schedule of business reviews is at contract signing. If possible, add the schedule of business reviews to the contract itself. Before a contract is signed, a long-term plan should map out a schedule of “how are we doing” meetings on a quarterly by semi-annual or annual basis. The reviews should focus on utilization and training and adoption benchmarks. It should also include updates on changes in content, support. or the vendor’s organization. It should be a “win-win” dialog. Please provide your feedback on Business Reviews at this link

In recent years, my requests for a ‘business review” are most often met with a blank stare. The follow up is a request from the account executive for me to explain “what should be included in a business review?”  My gut reaction is: “why do I need to teach you how do you do your job?” So today I am asking out loud –“Why is the business review no longer a standard part of customer support?” As far as I can tell most large information vendors do not train their staff how to provide a business review, nor do they provide a template for such a review. It appears that when a customer asks for a review, individual account reps have to cobble together their best guess at what should be included in a business review. But the problem does not end there.

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