Keeping Clients: Part of the Growth Equation

October 19, 2017

FIND. WIN. KEEP.  In the professional services (Architecture, Engineering, Legal, Accounting, etc.) industries our focus remains on FINDING new clients (or new opportunities) and building a pursuit plan for WINNING the work. Although we think performing technically is all that is needed to delight and KEEP our clients, most clients will say that is a threshold.

Keeping clients now requires a deeper understanding of how they are engaging and how they want to engage with your firm through all three phases of FIND. WIN. KEEP.

Client journey mapping isn’t new to the world of business. It also isn’t difficult. Identifying client representative touch-points through each of these phases and emphatically evaluating how and what you are doing will give exquisite clarity on your client’s behavior, expectations and how you are performing. Finding ways to make it easier, supportive and confidence instilling for clients is finding a new place to compete and KEEP clients.

When a client hires you for a complicated and/or technical capability, their base expectations will be that you deliver as promised.  With that, you’ve met their expectations and that is a good thing.  Many competitors can claim to do the same.  It is the continued march to homogenization.  Having clarity on how to improve at each touch-point of your client’s interaction will help you to compete in differentiating how you do it versus what you do.

Start small.  Bring together 2-3 people with good knowledge of a specific common touch-point for your clients (e.g. receiving an invoice).  Ask and discuss basic questions. From an empathetic perspective, what is the client feeling when they receive your invoice?  What objects are they interacting with (e.g. the invoice itself, web tool)?  Who or what roles do they interact with directly and indirectly (e.g. biller, collector, PM)?  Once that is on the table ask where you are doing well and where you are not.

It’s can be that simple and be done across all the client touch-points including those found in the phases of FIND. WIN and KEEP.

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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