It started with a hailstorm and roof damage….and ended with a great experience.
Yes, you read that right! Believe it or not, by providing an exceptional client or customer experience, your firm can turn an ordinary or undesirable situation into a moment of delight.
Living in Raleigh, we’re used to hurricanes and hailstorms – but we still don’t appreciate the damage and hassle they often bring. A few years ago, we had a rough storm that resulted in some pretty severe roof damage to our house. After evaluating the storm’s aftermath, we prepared ourselves to deal with the frustration and overwhelm of the home repair process. We searched, selected and contacted a roofer not really sure what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised from the initial engagement phase. The company made it simple, easy, efficient and even…enjoyable?
How did they do this? They had a customer experience system in place that helped to alleviate the storm’s inconveniences. They positioned themselves to be found and contacted easily, and then once engaged they did it all. It was like they knew exactly what we wanted and needed and delivered it at exactly the right time. They provided recommendations and guidance, coordinated with the insurance company, ordered the supplies and equipment, and even contacted the HOA on our behalf. The team was empathetic, courteous and conscientious. They not only solved my problem – they made my life easier and better during the process.
The end result – I wanted to refer them and buy more from them before they even asked.
How Delivering an Exceptional Client Experience can Lead to Referrals and Easy Cross Selling Opportunities
Several months later I received a phone call from my account executive checking in on the roof. He also remembered that my parents lived in a nearby neighborhood just hit by yet another hailstorm, and asked if they needed any help. The company had listened, which now allowed them to align their capabilities with a new potential need. My response was a resounding YES – please help them!
A month later my parents had a new roof – and the company had a new client. We were both delighted. So delighted in fact, that when they reminded me also do windows, I replaced 20 without even considering another vendor.
I was trying to figure out why I liked this roofing company so much. I realized that I work with great firms like this every day at Client Savvy. Working in professional services is a challenge. We know that our clients appreciate our services, however we also realize that it is extremely difficult to not become a commodity. There is a finite sized pie, and so many different firms are working hard to get the biggest slice they can.
So, how do we get the appropriately sized piece? In my experience, the most successful firms make a conscious effort to do the 3 things mentioned below.
Understanding client needs and perceptions, systemizing and operationalizing your approach
At Client Savvy, we help our clients do this Client Journey Mapping, Client Feedback and our Activating on Promoters program (activating on the raving fans and “promoters” you currently have in your client base) The basic steps are shared below. Have questions? We’re happy to help! Contact us here.
Mapping your Client’s Journey
The 5 Phases of Journey Mapping and Questions to Consider when Mapping your Client’s Journey (Check out the video here)
- Enticement. How do you Entice your clients? Think about what triggers your client to need your services and explore how your firm can become one of the top providers that come to mind. Your firm provides a service they need, whether that’s a building, legal representation, or your specific area of expertise. It starts with a spark in their mind – I NEED____ (insert above).
- Entrance. What are their first few steps clients take to ENTER into the buying process? Are they calling around? Who do they know to reach out to? Are you looked at as one of the leaders in your field? What about your social media presence? Are you providing value to them, even when you aren’t actively working together?
- Engagement. What does the ENGAGE(ment) stage look like for your firm? Is it designed? Is your team making the process simple, and easy for your client? Are you making them feel satisfied and safe in their interactions with your firm? Does your team have a method in place to ensure that your process is repeated by every single employee?
- Exit. How do you offboard a project, and how is that client’s potential growth tracked by your team?
- Extend. How do you EXTEND that relationship or know if you’re able to? How do you measure your client’s sentiment? How are you further developing that relationship – to ensure the next time this client or an industry contact of theirs, knows that your firm is the go-to in this area?
Ongoing Client Feedback, Cross Selling & Referrals – The Benefits & How it Works
Once the client journey is designed considering the points and questions above, it needs to be measured to ensure it’s delivering results aligned with your firm’s strategic objectives, and that its operating efficiently and effectively. Ongoing client feedback combined with a strategic program to identify raving fans and turn them into referrals helps firms do exactly this. These programs together help firms work towards specific goals, including increasing share of wallet with top clients, cross selling and referrals, winning more work, mitigating the risk of losing valuable clients, and much more. Below are a few ways using specific examples from my roofing situation above.
- It Reduces Client Attrition and mitigates risk of misalignment with a client. A well – planned communication and feedback plan ensured that I knew what I was signing during our contracting stage. The roofing company delivered a scope of work, as well as asked for my feedback on it – ensuring that it met my expectations. They continued to send end of week reports about my next steps and what to expect. Finally during the two weeks they spent with “boots on the roof” they asked for feedback during the project (where I complained about some nails on the ground and they promptly fixed the next day) and then finally at close out.
- It Identifies Raving Fans and Turns them into (Revenue Generating) Referrals. At the end of my project they asked for feedback, not just if I’d recommend them. My contact responded to me personally, thanking me for feedback, and ultimately, created a great relationship with me. I wanted to share their name with anyone who I heard had a challenge with their roof.
- It Identifies potential cross selling opportunities. By using their strategic client experience program, the roofing company created, maintained and developed a long-term relationship with me. They are no longer a roof or window provider (commodity) they are MY roofer and window repair company. They are my go-to, my preference for any service or product they provide. They no longer need to sell me anything – if I have a need and they have a solution, they simply need to make me aware of it (like they did) and I am likely to buy. They already created the trust and I am confident I will receive that same exceptional experience – every single time. Why would I go anywhere else?
Overall, by understanding their client needs and wants, designing a journey to fulfill them and having a company-wide process in place to ensure expectations are met consistently, this roofing company increased their revenue, generated referrals and cross selling opportunities. Your firm can do the same!
Client Savvy has worked with hundreds of professional services firms over the past 17 years, creating unparalleled client journeys, ongoing feedback and activating on promoters programs for thousands of professionals. We would love to help you do the same! E-mail us here or click the button below to schedule a call with a Client Experience professional today!