What’s a “QBR,” you ask? Well, I'm happy to explain. A “QBR” is a Quarterly Business Review.
The simplest way to define a QBR is as a meeting between executives of two companies who have a long-standing relationship. A QBR is purposely short and has a set agenda. There is no problem solving at a QBR meeting and, unless absolutely necessary, it does not dive into the details of issues. It is merely an opportunity for both busy companies to touch base and determine what is working and what may need more in-depth analysis.
Of course, as the name implies, QBRs typically happen once per quarter. In my opinion, a QBR is one of the most important components of a healthy business-client relationship.
From my view as a technology provider, a QBR is vital. But even outside the tech industry, especially if your business provides services to others, you can easily envision how this may apply to your company too.
At Atlantic Computer Services, we provide customer service first and technology second. Everything we do is built around understanding our clients’ needs and assisting them with unique and tailored plans. Of course, we work hard to be technology experts, so ultimately that is what our clients look to us for.
But customer service is how we differentiate ourselves. There are lots of folks who can “fix” a computer or network. The problem with most of them is that you literally cannot communicate with them. I love my industry, but I’m also quick to admit that many technology companies are lacking when it comes to people skills. At ACS, we believe that good customer service and a solid working relationship are just as important as the tech skills.
So it is here that the QBR comes into play.
During the course of a month, our technicians are in and out of a client’s office addressing issues as called upon. When we’re onsite, we are focused on resolving a specific issue and then getting out of the way so that the business can move on with daily operations. If there are other questions that arise, we encourage our clients to ask our technicians, but in the day-to-day busy schedule of a business, big picture issues can easily get overlooked. A scheduled review meeting is where we address the big picture needs of our clients.
When I structure my QBRs I only and always have two set agenda items: service issues and future technology needs.
I want to know immediately if there are there any issues with technicians, invoices, ongoing and repeating concerns, and so forth. The QBR is the time for me, as the president of my company, to make sure I know of any sticking points and to get them resolved. I fear that without the QBR, issues are not brought to my attention in an effective and timely way. But with these meetings, my clients have an open forum to share anything they want me to know, which helps ensure that issues do not fester.
After this, I encourage my clients to engage in an open discussion of any future technology needs or changes that may be on the horizon. It is helpful for me to know what my clients are thinking. On several occasions ACS has learned of significant changes during QBRs that we were then able to help with and plan for. Let me be clear: A QBR is not a sales meeting. But it is a chance to talk honestly with our clients about ways they can meet their technology needs far into the future (hopefully with our services).
Truly, QBRs are all about customer service and open communication. I’d encourage you to take advantage of QBRs with your key vendors and clients. They are an invaluable tool to maintaining healthy business relationships.
There’s a reason why so many organizations look to Atlantic Computer Services for the IT support they need to grow their business, and that’s because ACS provides honest, reliable, knowledgeable and friendly service. The company's goal is to serve as a technology partner, offering solutions that are affordable, uncomplicated and in the best interest of each individual client. Learn more about ACS, its services and its people at www.acs-ilm.com, or call (910) 799-6538.
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