A good client experience can be the dividing line between success and failure. In client service, building transparency and rapport with clients, who, for their part, want to work with a team that strives to understand their needs and collaborates to reduce barriers rather than add friction is paramount.
Beyond reducing friction, companies with leading CX see stronger revenue growth, stronger EBIT growth, lower expense ratios, and higher employee satisfaction scores, according to insights from McKinsey which recently studied the impact of strong CX in the insurance industry.
Client success boils down to how your team works just as much as it does to the results they deliver. Premier client experience hinges upon the right methods of measurement and communication. Drawing insights from our 2023 Voice of the Customer Survey, we’ll distill those methods and offer three ways to improve client experience.
1. QUANTIFY EVERYTHING
To improve client satisfaction, it’s crucial to quantify your results. This means identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and communicating to your clients why these metrics are valid in defining your success. Furthermore, the way you present these results matters.
Reports, dashboards, and case studies are some effective means of conveying quantifiable insights to your clients. Reports can provide a comprehensive overview of performance, while dashboards allow for real-time KPI tracking. Case studies offer in-depth narratives of your successes—putting your quantifiable strides in context.
It’s easy to take a one-size-fits-all approach to reporting, but pay attention to how your clients react. Service organizations should strive to do better than long, drawn-out calls where an account leader walks you through a report without ever distilling key insights.
Instead, could you drive engagement using an interactive dashboard that your client can pursue in their own time? Further, how often has a client raised questions about your performance dashboard that really should have been anticipated and proactively contextualized? If your metrics reflect the agreed-upon scope of work, the answer should be ‘rarely.’
2. STRUCTURE YOUR BUSINESS REVIEWS
Regular check-ins with clients are also key to maintaining strong relationships. At LatentView, we practice the 20:20:20 rule for all 1-hour meetings.
- 20 minutes for an operational review
- 20 minutes for cross-pollinating relevant work from other engagements
- 20 minutes for idea harvesting, where we proactively suggest ideas while also giving our clients a platform to share their own
In many cases, businesses share clients with a variety of other vendors including marketing agencies, legal consulting firms, and accounting companies. It can be easy for your team or work to slip into the background, especially when things are running smoothly.
To prevent this, you can position yourself at the forefront of your client’s mind through monthly or quarterly business reviews (M/QBRs). We mandate this at LatentView, and we’ve gotten strong feedback about it in our customer survey.
Sometimes you should push a client to consider data sources they wouldn’t have considered otherwise. For example, in a review with a footwear company, we shared work we had done with a consumer goods firm on how using external data can provide insights faster than surveys. This idea struck a chord, and they used insights from external media to inform a marquee shoe launch. Within the first few days, they were able to uncover a massive quality issue that could have brought down the line. Thankfully, they had incorporated this external data and were able to spot the issue and quickly resolve it before it tarnished their brand image.
Quarterly business reviews should be a time to look at the big picture and reassess how you’re attacking the problems at hand.
3. KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
Knowledge management is a cornerstone of delivering an excellent client experience. It’s important to share information with your clients on a day-to-day basis, especially with the growing number of remote teams in mind. Our client survey reaffirmed the success of distributed teams, finding that when 80% or more of the team was offshore, client experience improved.
The effectiveness of your work is only as good as your ability to convey it to your clients. It’s imperative to ensure that valuable information doesn’t get lost in endless email chains or miscommunications. Clients should have access to a central location where they can find everything they need.
For example, the choice between Google Drive and Teams may significantly impact your client’s experience. Try to work in systems your clients are familiar with, and, if they aren’t familiar with the system you’re using, spend time early in the engagement ensuring that they know how and where to find the right documents and resources.
At LatentView, we gamify portions of our onboarding process to help new team members get acclimated with our technology stack. We have found that gamifying training leads to greater engagement, a deeper understanding of the technology, and smoother onboarding. If you find your clients and partners aren’t gelling with your tech, add a layer of competition to the learning to encourage them to get involved.
AVOID DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS
How many engagements end not from one major failure, but rather death by a thousand cuts? Small failures to communicate can hurt your team in the long run. It is important to reiterate to your client-facing teams that every interaction is an opportunity to prove your ROI.
At LatentView, we look at a variety of metrics to ensure we don’t die this death by a thousand cuts. We look at engagement size over time, whether we are meeting budgets, client participation on our forums and events, etc. And importantly, we become more high-touch if we sense things are slipping.
In the end, you must be crisp, clear, and communicative. This will shine a spotlight on the very real business impacts you’re making, building loyalty and improving retention long term.
And in 2024, every business needs that.
Krishnan Venkata is the Chief Client Officer at LatentView Analytics, an established leader in Data Engineering and Data Analytics.