3 Ways to Review the Strength of Business Relationships

Carl Erickson

We strongly encourage our client organizations and firms to constantly review the strength of relationships with their own clients in an objective manner. The reality today is that most organizations will earn the majority of their new work from existing relationships, and in order to be best positioned for longer-term growth, the health of these relationships needs to be put under the microscope.

Here are three levels of review that clients find helpful:

Overall Client Review

As the name suggests, this is the broadest and most general level of review. At this level, an organization assesses what its clients think of their organization. This can occur through surveying techniques followed by statistical analysis if the organization serves many clients with many touchpoints, or may involve a more informal conversation with individual clients to gather the necessary information. At this level, an organization needs to understand factors such as:

  • The types, frequency and quality of interactions its clients are having with staff members
  • How easy it is for each client to get needed support and information
  • How often the client expresses satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the organization, and how that feedback is routed and acted upon within the organization
  • The high-level perception of the organization by key stakeholders within the client

Win-Loss Review

Also sometimes called a post-decision review, this level of review can provide invaluable information on not only on what your organization could have done better, but also on what points of differentiation offered by the organization’s competitors were most persuasive. A win-loss review also can provide insight into why the organization won a deal against multiple other competitors.

Implementation Review

On an individual project or task level, this level of review evaluates how positive the relationship is. For instance:

  • In the regular course of business, is the organization delivering on time or often causing delays?
  • Is work quality meeting or exceeding expectations?
  • Does the client see and appreciate the value the organization is creating?

Even when there are setbacks on a project level, it is essential for the organization to understand how its response is perceived by the client. In other words, if something didn’t go right, did the organization act quickly and effectively to resolve the issue, and perhaps even more importantly, was the organization perceived as acting quickly and effectively?  In conducting hundreds of such reviews, Beacon has found that cross reference results can be a great way to help validate insights and address what is often internal mispercpetions.