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Industry:        Information Technology

Results:          The Customer Relationship Auditing process revealed extreme dissatisfaction among key channel partners. It also revealed the possible defection to the competition from the majority of those groups surveyed. After the surveys were analyzed, new policies were implemented and our client’s sales and market share increased.

Client Overview  – Our client manufactures and distributes technology products and services using divergent channel strategies and multiple product offerings. They are one of the leading IT providers worldwide.

Reasons for using the Customer Relationship Auditing process – The firm’s channel director wanted to revisit the company’s distribution strategy. He felt that there was possible dissent from various channel partners. Value Added Resellers were complaining about the fairness of the current policies. Our client was afraid of losing market share to other IT companies. We were asked to conduct a survey with the top twenty-one individuals in their Value Added Reseller (VAR) channel.

Customer Relationship Auditing Findings – Only five of twenty-one individuals surveyed were happy with our client. This discord was an obvious business threat. Also, of the eleven business processes, customers were only happy with our client’s training program. All others were found to be unsatisfactory. In addition, there was also rampant concern that the client was sharing confidential customer information with other resellers. This distrust was causing animosity toward our client. Those interviewed stated that there were few rules governing existing relationships. And, some resellers who had good relationships with key executives in our client’s organization received preferential treatment.  Although rules did exist, there was little enforcement – our client often made adjustments on the fly depending on the size of a deal and the reseller. Our client also sold direct, bypassing the channel if a deal was big enough. Obviously, this direct effort contributed to animosity and distrust with the resellers.

Customer Relationship Auditing Impact –Our client restructured their account management strategy to give each large reseller a senior account manager. This created a renewed sense of trust within the Value Added Resellers. Our client now deals exclusively through the distribution channel. There were no direct end user sales from this point forward. The channel became happier and our client’s sales and market share increased.