The client experience is the sum of all interactions between a client and an organization and starts from the moment they become aware of your firm.
Client experience is arguably the most critical area of focus for any firm as every stage of a client’s interaction with your firm affects loyalty and profitability. A well-executed client experience strategy can help increase satisfaction, reduce turnover and drive increased revenue. So how can you create the right client experience for your firm?
Here are three ideas:
1. Hire the Right People
An exceptional client experience begins with the hiring process. Having the right people on board is essential because no matter what services you offer, your firm and its future are in the hands of the people you hire.
Recently, our company hired a new project manager. Of course, we sought out someone with organizational skills who is proficient in technology and able to collaborate with our team. But we also prioritized candidates who reflect Boomer Consulting’s values. This includes qualities like:
- Willingness to help – a “can-do” attitude
- Cultural fit – blends with the team
- Being able to juggle multiple responsibilities and priorities
- Active communication
- Presentation skills – able to be the face of our organization
- Reliable – does what she or she says they’ll do
- Focused on the voice of the client
- Punctuality – shows up on time
- Takes initiative
- Has an ownership attitude
When you hire new people, no matter their position or experience level, look for candidates who have the right mindset, excellent communication skills, are good listeners and team players. During the interview process, look for people who have a willingness to go the extra mile to create a truly positive experience and make clients happy.
2. Improve Client Onboarding
Onboarding a new client is one of the most pivotal steps in your relationship with them. If you delight your clients during this critical point, you’ll have a better chance of upselling your services, gaining referrals and keeping that client long term.
To set your onboarding process up for success, you need clear processes that can be replicated over and over again. Documenting this process ensures your client receives all of the necessary information to work effectively with your team and that your team knows what services to deliver and when.
3. Follow up
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “the fortune is in the follow up” referring to following up with sales prospects, but it’s just as important to follow up with existing clients after delivering a service.
After completing an engagement or attending an important meeting, follow up with your clients to ensure they received the expected value from your service. This is also a good time to check in with them to find out whether they’ve implemented your recommendations or doing the work they need to do on their end.
No matter how successful your consulting and advisory services feel while it’s underway, if it doesn’t lead to change after it’s over, it hasn’t been effective. Unfortunately, when clients don’t adequately follow through on action items, they squander the resources they’ve put into your services.
Even if they’re the ones to drop the ball, they’ll feel they haven’t received the value they were looking for from your services. Follow up with clients to ensure you know what they want to do. If it becomes clear they’re not willing to commit to taking action, it could be a red flag that they won’t value what your firm brings to the table and aren’t the right client for you.
Client experience is at the heart of a successful firm business model and simply understanding what it entails is not enough. You have to put in the time to cultivate the ideal client experience, consistently identify areas of improvement and innovate ways to surpass expectations.
Going above and beyond is key to being an excellent business advisor. With the right team, clear communication and accountability, your firm can delight even the toughest clients.
This article originally appeared on the Boomer Bulletin blog.
About Erin Cheever
As the Director of Project Management for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Erin's primary duties include overseeing and managing the specifics of all Boomer Consulting, Inc. communities, such as the Boomer Technology Circles, CIO Circle, Managing Partner Circle, Advisor Circle, Talent Circle, Lean Circle, NextGen Circle and the P3 Leadership Academy