As a firm leader, you get it. You understand that your clients are already having an ‘experience’ working with your firm. You also know that their experience working with your firm is not always consistent and you and your team are still spending more time than you’d prefer putting out fires. You’ve read the articles and listened to the success stories. You’re a believer!
If you’re like so many people we speak with, the next thing you’re wondering is how. How do create or modify your team’s existing processes to deliver a more intentional (and positive) client experience to your clients every project – every interaction – every time.
It’s a good question. When asked what the most challenging obstacle is to implement a client experience (CX) program in their firms, the top three answers given by executives were:
- Getting their teams to engage in more client-centric behavior
- Getting their teams to recognize CX isn’t one more thing, they are already delivering an experience to your clients
- Getting their teams to see that the change in process is really nothing more than evaluating existing processes from the clients’ perspective and ensuring each of the touchpoints makes the client feel understood.
Do you see a pattern?
We’ve been working with firms for over 15 years and we tell them all the time, client experience (CX) is not a thing, it’s a mindset. A mindset that begins with your team developing the capacity to see their interactions with their clients from the client’s viewpoint.
How to Create a Mindset
How can you create and build a sustainable CX mindset among your team? Consider the following case studies our clients have found to be successful. Do any of them (or all of them) feel as though they might be a fit for your organization?
Link the concept of CX to their individual experiences.
One client shared their success in helping their team create a CX mindset by making it personal. We all have experiences dealing with service providers every day. They decided to include conversations about experiences their team had during their weekly meetings. As individuals shared service experiences they’d had, leadership asked questions. What happened? How did you feel (positive or negative)? What about the experience caused you to feel that way? What could they have done to impact your experience? You get the idea.
They did this with their team for several weeks before introducing client scenarios. When members of their team would bring up situations where clients had been delighted or frustrated, leadership asked the same questions. What happened? Why do you suppose they felt that way? What might they have been thinking? In the case of frustrating client experiences, the question was asked, “What could we have done to impact the experience positively?” The lightbulb went off. Their team got it! In fact, they got so excited, they decided they wanted to capture CX moments and share them with the team in real time. They created a SLACK (link) channel specifically for examples of good (and poor) client experience they experienced during their day. Their team had some fun with it and even added a little competitive element by recognizing those who submitted the greatest number of situations in a week.
The result: Their entire team became aware of the impact of their actions. They developed a CX mindset and thought about the impact of their interaction with clients before the interaction, especially if the interaction involved challenging or unexpected news.
Talk about CX all the time.
Client Savvy has designed the CX Deck TM to provide a fun and easy way for professional services firms to create and/or build a CX mindset on their team. The CX Deck TM is complete with 52 cards just like a regular deck of cards. The difference, this deck prompts CX conversations. Instead of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades; the suits of a CX Deck TM are: Client Stories, Practice Empathy, CX Moments, and Gather Feedback. You and your team can use one card for 5 minutes a week as part of a weekly leadership, project, or staff meeting to get people talking and thinking about CX.
The image above provides a sample of the types of questions or discussion opportunities associated with each card.
You and your team can get started on your own introducing the CX Deck TM into your weekly meetings. Gameplay is simple. When you gather your team, read the prompt on the card, and watch the conversation take shape. Each card takes no more than 5 minutes to complete.
You can learn more, as well as order your own decks, by visiting www.cxdeck.com. Additionally, Client Savvy has a team of experts who will be happy to assist you in using the deck to create a CX mindset in your firm. We also offer 1-hour training sessions to individual firms as a fun way to assist teams in best practices for getting the most out of the experience.
Create a workplace based on empathy.
This case study shares the story of a firm that launched its client experience initiative from its employee experience program. The firm leaders recognized that to build empathetic relationships with their clients, they needed to first create and maintain a workplace based on empathy and communication with their employees. They initiated a monthly lunch program, facilitated by Client Savvy, that served to both identify each team members communication and provide mentoring to help individuals more successfully communicate with their co-workers.
Although this program was initiated and led by firm leaders, they were very intentional about engaging all members of their team to the greatest extent possible. When trying to gain a better understanding of their firm’s culture and core values, to ensure that the behaviors and incentives were linked to the desired culture, they polled all their employees allowing them to choose which core values they felt aligned best with the values of the firm. This created strong engagement across the team rather than having leadership define the values for them. With this information identified, the firm put into place processes that ensured they hired individuals aligned with those core values and recognized high performers so they would know they are appreciated.
Are you ready?
These are just three of the many strategies Client Savvy is helping firms implement to create CX mindsets in their firms. Remember, client experience is not some big thing you’ve got to do. Your clients already have an experience every day with your brand. Client Savvy is here to be a resource to help you create a process that your team will embrace, and your clients will appreciate. Let us help you deliver a positive client experience to your clients every project – every interaction – every time.
Email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you take the next step toward differentiating your firm based on the experience YOU PROVIDE.