What is a QBR? A common definition on the internet is: “A Quarterly Business Review is, as the name suggests, a meeting with your client on a quarterly basis where you discuss their business and how you can support them.”
It’s pretty cut and dry: How did you do? What did you achieve and did it meet your expectations. These type of reviews are what every office equipment dealer wants to do but they seldom do it. My problem with QBRs is they are repetitive with little or no input from the customer and little to no output once the process is done. My experience is it's just a way for people to justify their existence in their own mind or a way to justify the perception of ROI.
So in my opinion, it's time to kill the QBR! But wait, you are probably wondering “how do I make sure I meet with my customers to make sure they know I exist?” Well it's similar to software development, it’s time to get agile.
At the end of June, I attended the Customer Success Canada Summit where I got to meet a slew of other Customer Success Managers who work in all sorts of companies from law case management software to staff at LinkedIn! And I will tell you I took pages of notes from the event, and one of the things I learned is that CSMs are not really doing QBRs anymore. Instead, most have adopted a Success Plan.
The Success Plan is a process used to discover the customer’s ideal outcome for the engagement and to set mutual milestones. The plan will also assist in setting the frequency of check-ins and review because it will be based on milestones, not every quarter.
Your company is more than one person, therefore instead of trying to schedule something every 90 days with all the stakeholders, monitor what you are doing with your customer, have the right people meet with the customer for each milestone, and get a debrief on the milestone and outcome. Then have that team member report back to you so you can provide an overall summary of each milestone and the outcome.
This is something that Print Audit is just starting to implement. It's my goal to make sure we have an established Success Plan with each of our Premier Members. These plans ensure I schedule follow ups with each of our business units and provide regular feedback to the proper people.
If you would like to know more about how to establish a Success Plan with each of your customers I’d be happy to show you points to monitor, who should run each meeting, how to get feedback on each meeting and how to summarize each one.