If your customers aren’t looking forward to participating in quarterly business review (QBR) meetings, you need to rethink your approach.
Your customers should want to sit down with you regularly to evaluate their business needs and learn how you can improve business performance by uncovering technical risk and implementing a process of technical standards and alignment reviews. When they're not interested in what you have to say, there’s a disconnect somewhere, and it must be fixed immediately.
Think of it this way: You hold strategy meetings with your customers for them, not you. That means the content you deliver during these sessions should be packaged with value. Determine the information your customers would find useful and deliver it in a language they can understand. Focus more on educating them on how technology can be used to make better business decisions.
Basically, keep things simple. The information you deliver during strategy meetings shouldn’t be overcomplicated or too technical in nature. When you communicate your points clearly and concisely, and consider the specific needs of your customers, you’ll prove your worth by consistently delivering significant value. That’s how you get your customers to think of you differently.
Instead of telling customers how well they’re performing, use your QBR meetings to show them. Highlight how your strategic roadmaps have improved business productivity and efficiency. During QBR meetings, refrain from going overboard. Review metrics with your customers, but don’t get too far into the weeds.
What your customers want to hear is how you've been going beyond technology by understanding their business needs, providing recommendations based on those needs and delivering tangible results. That’s what separates you from your competitors and elevates you to the role of a strategic advisor, someone who can make the connection between customer technology and business goals (consider productivity, business risk and opportunity costs when reviewing business impact).
If you can’t have a face-to-face QBR meeting with a customer, don’t be discouraged; there are alternatives. Even though in-person QBR meetings are ideal, they’re not always possible, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, so try switching things up by hosting a virtual session with a customer. Many TruMethods members are having success with virtual QBR meetings.
When customers don’t want to meet with you for QBR meetings, there’s usually something you can do on your end to change their view. Review what you are doing to determine how you can deliver meetings of value to your customers. If you’re able to provide strategic insight, your customers will change their tone.