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The Principled Client Experience Model

Service corporations rise and fall, not through poor delivery or for lack of talent but most often because of a poor client experience.  Any product or service engagement should have a plan that assures continued client satisfaction and addresses how the client will perceive the services offered.  Following is my model for a repeatable process that promises both happy clients and long term advocates.

I spend a great deal of time working with key business accounts and interacting with their top level staff.  Throughout these interactions, whether it be in-person meetings, casual conversations, strategy sessions, emails, Skype or chat, I’m continually focused on the client experience; how they perceive me and the solutions I deliver and how those perceptions drive their loyalty and buy decisions.   While brand, product and pricing clearly have an impact on client engagement, much of the account retention and future work together comes from their immediate previous experience with me and my associates.  Establishing a relationship, providing strong solutions and stellar Return on Investment is a part of every engagement, but building a high quality repeatable customer experience is where real professionals begin to shine.

I’ve built the following set of rules that are always in play and that contribute to continually improving the customer experience:

  • Every client engagement is backed by four critical documents:  a solid business case, a formal strategy document that ensures buy-in at every level, a Change Management plan and Communication plan that all provide continued momentum.
  • Understand what the client is saying and thinking in every interaction, including both their emotional response (how they feel) as well as their objective response (how effectively their issue has been resolved).
  • Establish a set of criteria that address the client’s values.  How is this work linked to their corporate mission statement?  What is important to them on a daily basis? Identifying this information ensures a culture fit and leads to a better client experience.
  • Seek consistency in the customer experience across all of the different interaction channels. Every means of communication should reflect the client values.
  • Identify every opportunity to improve their experience.  Look beyond satisfaction surveys to measures such as loyalty and their willingness to recommend my services to colleagues.  The true reflection of a job well done is when a client becomes your advocate and promotes your work.

It is costly for clients to change service providers, just as it’s costly for service providers to prepare for new clients.  Given the importance of the client experience to loyalty, and their loyalty to both our profitability and theirs, it is critical to follow through with a plan that ensures not only stellar delivery but immensely satisfied clients who will invite you back to the table at every opportunity.

Posted on by Crowe Mead in Leadership, Management, Productivity, Strategy

One Response to The Principled Client Experience Model

  1. Michael Bweresr

    What about when client expectations change or are missed? Can you talk about handling those issues?

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