The first thing I do when I step onto a new project is get a sense of what the real story is. And, as is the case most of the time, the real story is lurking somewhere 15 feet below where you thought you were walking. This real story is where things are a bit murkier.
For many consumer goods, that often means focusing on the product itself, along with a heavy dose of branding to continually affirm the “feel good” warm fuzzies. When it comes to a B2B customer/vendor relationship, things get a little more complicated.
Start with a prioritization of the most important interactions customers have with you. It could be your call center, your commercials, your sales reps, your direct/online marketing, your social media, your technology. Whatever is at the top of your list, make sure that is rock solid. An impenetrable fortress of reliability.
Proceed down the list and perform a gap analysis of where the big holes are. Also make note of the little holes. Then, have another team of people do the same thing. Compare the two documents. Are there similarities? Differences? Understand why – this is another blog post in itself, which I will write soon.