The unexpected outcomes of getting customer experience right

From

It is time to update your your processes to promote a stronger customer experience?

First impressions that drive lifetime outcomes

The customer experience you provide to your clients delves much deeper than the standard customer service standards. As described by customer experience firm Qualtrics, ‘…customer experience is more than tracking promoters or satisfaction scoring. You have to know how your customers are changing, which ones matter most, and, essentially, how to attract them to your brand…’ [1]

It’s the emotional journey your clients go through when interacting with you and your practice and if you can become emotionally connected with your clients over this journey the benefits are substantial.

Asking the tough questions first

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

When we consider that only 34% of advice practices actively seek formal feedback from their clients2 there is a clear opportunity in not only improving visibility on how your clients feel about you, but how they feel about the experience your practice provides in general. A simple survey to your client base will help you identify key areas in which you can improve the overall experience you are providing on a day to day basis.

Ideally feedback will be sought at least twice in the first 12 months (the first time within three months). Almost three quarters of advisers surveyed didn’t meet this threshold, with nearly 40% saying they don’t seek formal feedback at all. [2]

The unexpected outcomes of getting customer experience right

Unsurprisingly, advice practices today are reliant on a strong referral network for new business. What may come as a surprise though, is that an emotionally engaged customer is 3 times more likely to recommend you to family, friends and colleges. Ensuring your customer experience is right is a critical step in not only attracting new clients but also receiving strong referral business from your existing customers – if you get this right it should form an integral part of your referral strategy.

What is client onboarding?

How an adviser answers this seemingly straightforward question generally provides a good indication of the scope for improving their process and business outcomes. Do you consider onboarding to be about administration and paperwork, or marketing and branding?

If onboarding is simply seen as the process of welcoming those who have just signed on the ‘dotted line’ to the practice, with the centrepiece being a ‘welcome pack’ and meeting/phone call, then there’s a real risk your onboarding process is actually ‘unselling’ the customer you’ve worked so hard to land.

On the other hand, if your brand proposition is clear at first point of contact with a potential client and on show at every interaction, then you’re probably on the right track and will be able to lock in loyalty and advocacy for years to come.

The majority of advisers (56.8%) recognise they need to make a lasting impression from the very first appointment with a client. If you see onboarding as being about the brand experience, then the true start of the process is when they first touch your brand (for example when they visit your website). [3]

Start at the beginning in building towards successful value client relationships

You need to start at the very beginning before you can define the manner in which your processes should be updated to reflect a stronger customer experience; here are some basic questions to get the ball rolling:

  • What does our brand/business stand for?
  • Who do we serve/who is our ideal client?
  • How would I like my brand to be perceived by clients and other advisers?
  • Why do prospective customers come to our business? Are they coming because of referrals, or do we actively have to generate leads? What did they perceive of my brand prior to contact us?
  • What is the state of our current onboarding process? What does it say about the brand? What do clients have to say about the process?
  • If our business was designing the ideal client/brand experience from scratch, what would it look like from the inside and outside?
  • What aspects of your practice’s brand drive clients to choose you? Does your onboarding process reflect that choice?

———–

References
1. https://www.qualtrics.com/au/what-is-experience-management/
2. Research conducted during October 2017 by Beaton Research and Consulting, via online survey to 194 advisers.
3. The New Science of Customer Emotions, Harvard Business Review 2017

You must be logged in to post or view comments.