How a Great Client Experience Can Drive Revenue Growth, Referrals, and Cross-Selling Opportunities

October 27, 2020

Hailstorm, roof damage, great CX

Yes, you read that right! Believe it or not, by providing an exceptional client or customer experience (CX), your firm can turn an ordinary or undesirable situation into a moment of delight. Revenue growth, referrals, and cross-selling opportunities become low-hanging fruit when it comes to CX focused initiatives.

Living in Raleigh, we’re used to hurricanes and hailstorms. However, 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 several pieces of client experience management in place. A customer experience system 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 my parents lived in a nearby neighborhood just hit by yet another hailstorm and asked if they needed any help. The company 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 they 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 our clients appreciate our services; however, we also realize 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 three things mentioned below.

Understanding client needs and perceptions, systemizing and operationalizing your approach 

At Client Savvy, we help our clients do B2B Customer 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)

  1. 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).
  2. 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?
  3. Engagement. What does the ENGAGE(ment) stage look like for your firm? Is it designed? Does your team make 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?
  4. Exit. How do you offboard a project, and how is that client’s potential growth tracked by your team?
  5. Extend. How do you EXTEND that relationship or know if you’re able to; 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 it's operating efficiently and effectively. Ongoing customer 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.

Specific Examples

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 the 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 closeout.
  • 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 its 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. 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?

Key Takeaway

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 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!

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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