How do your service delivery initiatives ‘stack up’?

March 6, 2018

Your firm invests hours brainstorming and planning ways to improve internal processes and service delivery to clients.  Do you know whether you are setting yourself up for sustainable success or disheartening disappointment?

Understanding both your team of employees and your clients is integral to your initiative.  Why?  How your team works together to provide products and services will determine the likelihood of client re-engagement, a key indicator of employee and client loyalty.

To create a stable structure, you need a strong foundation, a solid roof, and a carefully aligned support system between the two. That keeps the entire structural framework intact.  When it comes to maturing into sustainable practices, consider this analogy:

  • Your foundation is your firm’s Core Values,
  • The support systems are your Employee Experience (EX) and Client Experience (CX) practices, and
  • The roof is Employee and Client loyalty to your firm.

Let’s look at each of these to see how to they work together to create a stable structure.

Core Values

Core Values provide the foundation for how your firm will make both day-to-day and strategic business decisions. This includes decisions involving interactions with fellow employees and clients, potential merger and acquisition conversations, ownership transitions, hiring, and ensuring that a client is a good fit (because some clients just aren’t).  Your firm’s core values bring everyone together under the same roof with the same expectations and understanding of how your firm will deliver services internally and externally.

It is important that your firm’s core values be more than just words on a website.  To create sustainable success, they need to be indoctrinated into your firm’s culture.  Every employee should know what they are and what they mean.  You want them to be visibly present in everything your firm does and provides.  When your clients speak about your firm, you want their discussions to entail descriptions that portray your core values.

EX and CX Practices

How well do your team members work together?  Do they encourage and mentor one another?  How well do they know your clients?  Do they anticipate client needs rather than simply provide solutions for their stated wants?  To ensure your ‘support system’ remains aligned, it is vital to resist the temptation to assume you know what others want and need.  To maintain alignment, make it your goal to know what they want and need.  The only way to do this is to ask.  Providing an outstanding experience to both your internal and external clients means so much more when you take the time to get to know and understand their needs and challenges and guide them through their vision of the end product.  Take the time to listen to your employees and your clients.

Loyalty

Consistency, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is an agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole; the harmony of conduct or practice with profession.  In professional services, consistency of service delivery that acknowledges individual client needs creates that solid roof structure. If employees do not work well together and service delivery is not consistent, our roof (and our clients’ loyalty) begins to leak.

Developing consistent processes can feel like an overwhelming task. Rather than focusing on the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), take an iterative approach. What have you heard from your clients? What are some of the areas that multiple clients have identified as opportunities for your firm to serve them even better? One strategy for bringing these ideas to the forefront is to do a Client Empathy Map with your team. Bringing key team members together to talk about your clients’ impressions of different stages of working with your firm can be enlightening. And a great place to start.

When you are consistent, your clients view you as dependable. That is a major player in loyalty.

Attend the CXps 2018 Client Empathy Mapping workshop and learn the tools to bring this back to your team. Use code First Timer to save $100 off the registration fee.

 


Ryanne Nelson

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