The evolution of business reviews at Yoh
We meet with our customers on a quarterly basis for multiple reasons. First, it is generally required in our contracts that we provide at least quarterly updates on our performance. Secondly, the meeting affords us an opportunity to discuss long-term initiatives and projects and provide updates on our progress in these areas. Lastly, and most importantly, it gives Yoh the chance to demonstrate our expertise in the staffing arena particular to our client’s needs and to show the value we bring and additional value we can bring to their organization. So why were the meetings so dreadfully boring and seemed like a chore for both organizations?
Our standard flow for business reviews went like the following:
1) Successes – the opportunity for us to brag a little bit about what we had done and/or what we and the client had accomplished together in the given timeframe
2) Performance Metrics – a detailed overview of the numbers used to measure our performance with a detailed analysis of trends and the steps we are taking to address issues
3) Initiatives – updates on current projects on which our teams are working to improve performance as well as suggested programs that will enhance our offering
4) Market Insights – leveraging our experience and resources, we share with our client the overall marketplace and provide our view of where the industry is going and how it impacts our client. Topics would usually include market rate analysis, industry trend, results of our latest industry surveys, etc.
Our slide decks were usually attractive compilations that explained the metrics and clearly demonstrated the story the numbers told. Because we were obligated to share metrics and to analyze the results, slides could be very complex. We noticed over time that the business reviews became challenging to schedule and we were compelled to start generating executive summaries instead of presentations so our customers could review the data at their leisure and not need a full two hours every quarter. We came to realize that our last objective – demonstrating the value we add – was not being met. What to do?
The epiphany came not with further analysis, but with a happy accident. One of our customers on the day of our business review had a major change to the organization. We set aside our well-crafted presentation and talked openly with the customer about their changes and about how we could help them through the tumultuous time ahead. The discussion made us realize that our business review process was perfectly upside down.
Customers are generally very aware of the metrics used to measure our performance. They keep a close eye on this and discuss it with our team regularly. The deeper analysis is useful, but not necessarily compelling. They were also aware of what we had accomplished as hopefully, it had direct impact on their business. Despite being well-trod areas, we were leading with these components in the business reviews, putting our client in a torpor state before getting to the more interesting information. Worse yet, we sometimes didn’t get to the market insights at all.