The Seven Myths of Customer Management: How to Be Customer-Driven without Being Customer-Led

By John Abram; Paul Hawkes | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
Are You the Problem?
The Role of Leadership in Creating
Customer Focus

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it.

Ecclesiastes 10:8

About two years ago, a large services firm with £3bn of annual revenues failed in its bid to renew a customer contract that it had confidently expected to keep. As an individual account, this loss of business was not particularly significant. The account manager concerned lost some commission; her line manager gave her a hard time; and the sales manager reviewed how the bid was managed and what lessons could be learned. All good stuff. End of story? Sadly not.

A few weeks later, the managing director of the now former customer happened to give an interview to a trade magazine. To illustrate how dynamic his team was he referred, in passing, to the recent change of supplier as part of his firm's continual search for value for money. A week later the trade magazine concerned led its story with: ‘Bloggins loses account through poor value for money’. The name is changed to protect the guilty.

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