When a new customer is assigned to you it’s critical to get things started on the right foot and make a good first impression. You set up a preliminary kick-off call to introduce yourself and the team. But what else should be covered on this call while you have the customer on the phone?
This call is also a good time to ask a few foundational questions to get a better understanding of your customer’s current process, their needs and how you can help deliver value from this point forward.
Here’s a list of five questions to get you started:
1.) What does your team look like?
This is a good first question to get started with and to get acquainted with the team, their structure, and their individual roles. You will want to suss out who is in charge, who will be your main point of contact, who will be responsible for certain parts of the upcoming implementation process, who will need to attend training, etc.
*Tip* Create a role call for yourself with names, titles, and contact information. This is a natural time to collect this information and when you will be the most successful in collecting vs. later down the road.
2.) Where are there bottlenecks in your current process?
By asking you customer what is currently slowing them down in being productive will be key in digging into how you and your team can help by offering efficiencies through technology and/or services. Also, by identifying these bottlenecks off the bat will save you time in figuring out where to put your energy first instead of learning the hard way.
*Tip* Categorize the bottlenecks by people or system roadblocks. This will be helpful in determining an appropriate course of action.
3.) What are consistent issues your team runs into?
This question is digging a little bit deeper on the question above. These are most likely the main pain points that encouraged the customer to purchase from your company in the first place. You will want to make note of these issues. If you are able to help them attack these problems throughout their journey it will be a win/win for you and your customer.
*Tip* Listen for major themes and summarize back to the customer. This will help you identify where there might be some quick wins and related issues that can be tackled together.
4.) Where is your team spending their time?
This question will give you a glimpse into what your customer’s day to day looks like. Are they doing a lot of the same tasks over and over again? If so, this could be an area that maybe your product could help with automation. Are they constantly fighting fires? If so, these fire-fighting areas might be a place to focus on finding a solution and by doing so you will open up time to be successful with on-boarding and adoption of your product.
*Tip* Group tasks together and put a percentage with activity type. For example, what percentage of time do they spend with reporting?
5.) What KPIs and metrics do you currently track?
This question is vital in making sure you and your customer are on the same page. You need to understand how they are being measured which will in turn play into how they are going to benchmark their progress with you as a customer. At the end of the day, your job is to make your client more successful and better at their job, and metrics will be the basis of measuring change and making sure you are on track. This will also be key in having a good benchmark and an understanding of where the customer is at the start of your relationship.
You might find that the customer isn’t currently tracking any metrics. This is OK, and a good opportunity for you to offer your expertise and layout the key metrics that you see other customers track and where your product can really help move the needle.
*Tip* Create a scorecard for the customer that has all of the KPIs, the starting baseline metric, and the desired goal, so you can track results along the way.
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