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Client Experience Initiatives The McDonald York Way

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Client Experience and Employee Experience Through Relationship Building

In the first and second quarter of 2018, Mike Kriston, Senior Vice President, and Tanner Holland, President, implemented an initiative to increase the client experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) of the company. Mike met with all superintendents and project managers in the organization to better understand them, their capabilities, and what drives them.

By understanding the intricacies of our individuals, Mike is better able to speak to their experience, their abilities, and better able to help them work on the types of projects they would like to work on. Tanner is meeting with all active clients to better understand their drivers as well as build the personal relationship.

A client’s CX will improve with the more access they have to the company and by meeting with Tanner, who is ultimately responsible for the execution, they will have direct contact with McDonald York they can trust. 

Although meetings with clients and employees have taken place already, this is a new initiative and we have not yet received any feedback yet from clients. However, the meetings that have taken place have been valuable in relationship building and we anticipate measurable, positive feedback in the months to come. 

“Start a project with a client, end the project with a friend”  Tanner Holland, President, McDonald York Building Company

CX in Weekly Meetings and Slack 

Weekly Meetings

Each Monday morning, office employees at McDonald York meet to go over weekly activities. In each of these meetings our senior vice president, Mike Kriston presents a CX topic for discussion. Some of these discussions are focused on positive and negative client experiences employees have encountered during the last week. 

Mike leads the conversation by having employees who volunteer their story reflect on what made the experience a positive or negative one for them. This could be a helpful associate working in a supermarket or perhaps a rude encounter with a cashier while checking out. Mike then encourages the group to think about what it was that made the experience good or bad and what we can do for our clients to ensure that their experience is a positive one.

Other discussions encourage employees to take the conversation outside the conference room and talk to clients about client experience. For example, Mike encouraged employees to ask clients, “what do you enjoy most about your job?” We want to think about what we can do to help our clients do more of what they enjoy. This creates a better client experience for them.

Discussions with clients have resulted in positive feedback. Clients appreciate us taking the time to get to know them on a personal level. This initiative has created an opportunity for ongoing conversations to occur inside and outside the office. Mike’s commitment to engaging employees in CX on a regular basis has helped keep CX front-of-mind during client interactions. 


As part of our core values, McDonald York believes in Innovation - using new technologies and processes to become more efficient and effective. To this end, we implemented Slack to help collaboration across the company. Slack facilitates communication through the creation of different channels and focuses on areas that are important to our employees. A CX channel was created for employees to share interactions they have outside of work, both good and bad. Similar to Monday morning meetings, this Slack channel reminds employees the importance of creating a good CX for our clients. 

Excerpts from the CX Channel in Slack:

Client Feedback Tool

To know the story behind our clients, McDonald York implemented the Client Feedback Tool (CFT) in 2016. It gives our clients a way to let us know how we’re doing.

When a client lets us know we are not meeting expectations, that is an opportunity for us to modify our process and create a situation to meet expectations. 

We set a requirement that our employees who interact with clients should send two surveys each month. Mike Kriston, SVP, and Sarah Findlay, Marketing Coordinator hold CFT training sessions four times a year. Employees are required to attend at least once a year.

Along with teaching employees the fundamentals, Mike speaks about the theory behind CFT and the value it adds to our process. We want to know the story behind our clients and what their expectations are. 

Employees are encouraged to read the responses and consider the “why” behind them to build a more personal relationship. 

Employees must follow up with clients within 48 hours to ensure we let clients know their voices are being heard. Below is an example of a feedback response: 

In 2016 we received 156 survey responses. In 2017 we received 278 survey responses. We expect this number to grow larger in subsequent years. Occassionly, clients will request a CFT survey be sent to them so they can report their satisfaction with a project. They know that we take the time to review every survey reply sent. 

The Executive Dashboard 

In 2018, McDonald York created an executive dashboard to help focus on key areas to drive our company forward. These are Safety, Schedule, Financial, and Client Experience. All of these items are a driver in how our business succeeds. By putting CX on the document, it allows us to view how our employees are pursuing feedback from our clients. 

By asking the question, we are creating the opportunity and structure around how we have these conversations with our clients. It has also enabled us to view where we can improve. Below, we can see actions need to be made to ensure that our process is being completed in project 37-129. Follow-up comments are sent after we receive a CFT response. 

This initiative was put in place in January 2018. We are looking forward to continuing to build this database of information and receive feedback from clients throughout the year. 

Let us know if you'd like to speak with a client experience consultant to start your CX and EX journey.

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