Your customer’s employees log fitness and diet data online. Except: factory employees share a single computer kiosk (HIPAA alert!) with no Internet access. Manual data collection will eat into profits. Now what?
An existing customer asks you to develop a major new corporate wellness program — without committing to purchase it.
Another customer wants more frequent health coaching for high-risk employees.
Your costs and performance requirements increase. But when you propose a program development fee or price increase for these new employee wellness services, your customers accuse you of nickel-and-diming them.
These tips from the computer outsourcing industry help protect your corporate wellness business and your customer relationship:
1) Scope of work
Develop a written scope of work to define your relationship with your customer. Specify their requirements and your commitments. Specify the resources they must contribute (for example, training rooms). Specify key dates and deliverables. Document key assumptions (for example, all employees have secure PC access).
2) Formal change management process
Plan for change by including a formal change management process in your contract.This structured process for handling major changes in your scope of work (including pricing changes) helps protect you from the unexpected operational and profit consequences of ad-hoc changes.
3) Mutual performance measures
Establish performance measures to document your success in delivering promised benefits. Establish measures of your customer’s commitments as well. Examples include before/after absenteeism rates for employees in a specific wellness program, or the rate of employee cancellations for scheduled classes.
4) Document, document, document.
Often key knowledge about specific accounts resides undocumented in the company’s collective memory. What if a highly knowledgeable person quits? How will you quickly train new staff? Document key procedures for each customer in a “playbook” that serves as a guide for your employees.
5) Named accountability
Avoid surprises by assigning a trusted senior employee to each important customer relationship. This advocate should meet with the customer 2-3 times each year. This role supplements the day-to-day account manager as an escalation point if your customer feels that the usual processes for resolving issues aren’t working.