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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY VALUE ADDED RESELLER

 Industry:        Information Technology

 Results:          The Customer Relationship Auditing process revealed extreme dissatisfaction with our client – their customer was in the process of “firing” our client even though they owned a significant percent of the client. The majority of individuals interviewed were angry with our client and felt they were “taken for granted because we are a shareholder”. Our client addressed issues raised in the survey and as a result the customer renewed their contract and acknowledged there were significant changes in our client’s attitude to them.

Client Overview – Our client is an IT Value Added Reseller with very large blue chip customers. Our client commissioned us to conduct 41 interviews on only one of their customers, a large previously Parastatal mining company. Interviews were conducted at head office and all the major mines countrywide.

Reasons for using the Customer Relationship Auditing process – The account manager allocated to the customer recognized the relationship was out of control and did not have Head Office support. She wanted an understanding of the main grievances of her customer and to have an independent assessment so her head office could better understand the problem and allocate more resources for her to mend the relationship.

Customer Relationship Auditing Findings – Of the 41 individuals interviewed, 63% were dissatisfied. When looking at the customer’s head office personnel, this went as high as 85%. When looking at their business processes, customers approved of only one of thirteen processes. Our client’s competitors were also rated and were rated as better in all processes, a potential threat if the customer decided not to renew the contract.

The customer showed an intense dislike for being treated like a cash cow; they perceived the emphasis from our client was totally sales and not customer service. The account manager had little autonomy and all decision-making took an inordinately long time.

Customer Relationship Auditing Impact – With a greater insight into each individual within their customer, our client was able to formulate a strategic account management initiative. A lot more resources were allocated to the customer and there was a concerted effort by head office to understand their customers’ needs at all levels. Three months after the project, our client was able to renegotiate their contract successfully and received significantly more orders as their customer received tangible evidence they were serious about enhancing the long-term relationship. The size of the new order alone was 2,500 times the cost of the survey, let alone the potential cost of losing their customer if their customer had fired them.

 

 

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