Jan 10, 2016
Client service has never been more integral to professional services as companies return their focus to growth. The prolonged difficult trading conditions have left a lasting impression on how professional services are bought and sold. Not only is the market more competitive, clients are searching for greater value for money, they are looking their advisers to demonstrate their depth of understanding with proactive insight on business issues and there is greater pressure on fees.
It is therefore no surprise that all the major players have re-sharpened their focus on clients, supported by communication campaigns that alert potential buyers to their commitment and passion for service excellence.
However defining client satisfaction can often be very subjective, abstract and intangible often leaving those expected to deliver the service confused and disengaged. If the commitment to client service is not part of the firm’s DNA, it is very easy to become distracted or loose focus after the initial flurry of interest.
Commitment must come from the top for client centricity to become alive and real within a business. The board are responsible for translating the service philosophy into clear and common objectives, values and KPIs to be measured across the organisation. Every member of the board, regardless of their functions, need to be equally accountable to the customer and their experience.
7 crucial elements to drive a client centric business:
- Lead from the front
- Define the client service proposition
- Set KPIs, measure outcomes or desired behaviours
- Robust measurement infrastructure
- Communicate – engage support
- Reward, recognise, feedback, challenge and support
- Listen, learn and respond
Whilst a business is made up of many individual identities, a successful board can harness the power of the collective and focus them on a common client centric goal which will help them achieve all the strategic and financial benefits available. The consumer is the new Managing Partner, regardless of whether the music is playing.
“The truth is that a brand belongs to neither the agency nor the client. The real owners of the brand are the consumers. It is they who decide its fate.” Frank Lowe, Lowe Worldwide