This week I spent many hours working on the customer journey. Not ours. Our clients’ journey with their customers.
A perhaps surprising service that we offer, that very few lawyers provide, is working with our clients to understand and streamline their customer journey.
Because you can have the best contracts in the world, but they’re only useful if you know how to use them and what the customer journey is...The customer journey, usually the province of the marketing or sales team, can become slow and laborious unless everyone is informed about what contract to use and when to use it.
I’ve spent more than 12 years working with Microsoft Partners and I now know exactly where the problems arise that can slow down the sale process. I’vewatched and I’ve listened to them, and learned this:
Communication can be poor about what contracts to use, and when.
Internal teams often don’t know what to share, or when.They may not even where the latest version of a contract is stored.
Sometimes, even the people at the top may be embarrassed to admit that they’re not sure what the process is.
Staff turnover can lead to gaps in knowledge.
Often, nobody has reviewed the process. The starting point is to agree a plan, streamline it, and document it so that everyone is on board.
Which is why this week I met with the entire customer team at one of our clients. Before meeting with them, I’d spent time working with their Senior Leadership Team to learn about their customer journey, so that I could explain what each agreement in that journey does and help to establish a process for using them.
In these sessions, I always ask:
What do you do when you engage a new customer?
Do you have a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) ready to go? (This is the best way to kickstart the journey, making your business look professional andstartingthe relationship off on the right foot.)
After the NDA is signed, you probably know who will send the proposal and which of your services you will market to yourpotential customer, but do you know who will send them yourTerms & Conditions (T&Cs), and when?
How do you communicate within the business if a particular customer has a variation of the T&Cs or if you have to review them? The whole supply chain will need to be informed – from the accounts team to the delivery team – so how do you handle those communications?
How do you manage auto-renewal? (You want to keep your customers locked-in)
How do you handle termination of the contracts?
We have practical solutions at every stage of the journey. For example, you can save time for both sides by linking to the T&Cs in the Statement of Work (SOW)or an order form but the customer journey should be clearly set up with clear processes to follow- we do this daily with our clients!
In a competitive marketplace, getting the customer journey slick and streamlined is one way to really set yourself apart and add value to your business. It will also save you time and speed up the sales cycle.