I'll bet that headline made many of the people who will read this nervous! It probably brought back some childhood memories...some good and some bad!
Report cards were an evaluation tool used to tell both the student and the parents (gulp) about the progress (or lack of ) the student was making. This assessment tool was an integral part of improving the outcomes of the educational experience. So I wondered, could the same idea be used to improve the experience your customer is having with your company (parent) and their sales people (students)?
Account retention is part of most sales jobs and one that is usually not given the attention that it deserves. Everyone knows its easier to "keep" a customer than "get" a customer but far to often companies and sales people put to much emphasis on "getting" rather than "keeping". Those that realize the importance of account retention spend more time on it but usually don't have an organized way to manage it.
So, in order to improve account retention, how about developing a "report card" that you can use on your most important customers. A report card would allow the customer to "grade" the performance of you and your company keeping you ahead of any "problems" that you might not be aware of. Quarterly "report card" meetings should be set up between you and your customers to get their feedback on the performance of the company and the sales person who calls on them. Report card meetings can be a "metric" and responsibility that sales people should be held accountable for.
The wrong time to focus on account retention is when your customers informs you that they are doing a "vendor review". Stay ahead of the game, develop a "report card" for your company to apply to your best customers. Be open not afraid of honest feedback and you can win the retention game!