Client Experience Flag Planters Needed

September 21, 2017

In my humble opinion, it doesn’t take much leadership courage to carry a flag for improvements to the client/customer experience.  Compared to hoisting the improved profitability flag quarter after quarter, the weight of engaging employees on something the employees have an emotional attachment to has to be a more fulfilling and fruitful pursuit.  Where are our professional industry client experience flag planters?

HAPPY CUSTOMER, HAPPY LIFE. You can’t escape the onslaught of data these days demonstrating how focusing on the experience a client/customer has can improve client loyalty and drive-up sustained profits. According to Bain and Company’s research companies that lead in customer loyalty (USAA, Costco, JetBlue) grow more than twice as fast as their competitors.

It’s fairly simple.  Happy clients stay longer, buy more and cost less to work with.  One thing that must be stated – Happy clients usually lead to happy and engaged employees who also stay longer and cost less to work with.

THRESHOLD EXPERIENCE. While it is important to have technically skilled employees, that is a threshold for most clients.  They expect you to do the work.  Where are our leaders that want to break out and compete in the Blue Ocean of client experience?  Who wants to OWN IT? Winning AGAINST the competition and FOR their clients and employees. Doing so simply by defining the mechanisms and forums for scrutinizing the large and the small organizational decision that will impact their clients’ experience.

Who of our 10s of thousands of CEOs in professional services industries will step out of the mold and build their organization’s success on the pillar of service leading to an industry disruptive improvement to their clients’ experience?

LEGACY BUILDING. The better CEOs know they have to focus their organizations on just a few strategies.  The great ones have perennially chosen the client/customer experience as a key strategy. For our corporate stars (e.g. JobsHsiehBezos) listening to their clients and using that insight to help anticipate the marketplace is part of everyday activities.  A focus on the client/customer experience isn’t just being on time with a deliverable or quick to solve a project gone south.  It’s consistently understanding what your clients/customers expect, want and feel before they do and building your organization to activate on the small and large experiences of your clients.

So why don’t more CxOs in the professional services (architecture, engineering, accounting, legal, etc.) choose client experience as a deliberate strategy?  Maybe they think they already have by talking about client service. Maybe, like a few conversations I’ve had with CxOs, they think they know all the issues.  Or maybe, it is simply one more thing to consider, resource and execute.  Whatever the reason, visionary professional service company leaders put their firms out in front of the competition for client loyalty and employee loyalty.  That is how to leave a legacy.


I love to talk with those that are exploring how they can start to utilize their client's/customer's experience to improve parts of their business (external and internal) or simply share the best practices of seasoned veterans. You can contact me at

Ryan Suydam

Ryan Suydam co-founded Client Savvy in 2004, to help firms create fierce client loyalty by designing, implementing, and measuring client experiences. He has coached nearly 700 organizations and over 30,000 professionals on the skills required to be “client savvy.”

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