The following is a summary of a discussion between E.G. Insight Senior Consultant Rhonda Sunnarborg and an Executive Director with a client currently implementing a CRp® client interview process within his organization:
1) In general, how have you found the CRp® interview process to work?
“First and foremost, it gives you a concrete reason to get in front of a client. It provides a forum for them to talk and for you to listen. Every client enjoys talking about their business. They respect the process. They appreciate the fact that my company is trying to improve. It’s become a staple of our business.”
2) How has this process helped you on an individual level?
“The process has made me a better listener…it’s not necessary to fill in gaps with unnecessary words. I’m a more receptive, open listener as a result.”
3) How does this process add value to your company?
“It helps us to get in front of clients to have strategic conversations. The interview guide document is very effective…it has a logical setup and is very concise. It starts out focused—with the ratings, the indicators and the weighting—and then becomes more free-form at the end. Part of what’s valuable are the sidebar conversations that happen as a result.
In the lead-up to the Client Review, clients talk about industry trends. I generally ask, ‘How’s business?’ and I get the 40,000-foot level response. Then, at the end of the review, I typically hear more about the details of what’s going on in the trenches. You need to know both. It’s informative and useful.
I am always proud to have a quality process to take in front of clients (and prospective clients). Hopefully, it’s a differentiator. I haven’t heard our competitors talk about it, so I think it’s unique to us. Our company is so large that it can be so difficult to navigate, I think it humanizes us.”
4) What could be done to make the results more meaningful or actionable?
“We could be reminded during our monthly sales teleconferences of what our current ratings are, how we compare with like industries, and which area is ripe for improvement (in addition to covering how many interviews we need to do). This would help us to focus on it. We could begin meetings with a story or idea from a client review.”
5) What else could be done to get more from this process?
“I think the opportunity is to go deeper into the client organization. I challenge myself to do as many interviews as I can.”
For more information about the CRp® interview process, click here.