Marie Antoinette is famously quoted as saying, “let them eat cake.” While the quote’s authenticity is in doubt, its sentiment is not. It is an expression of one’s callous insensitivity to others. As I have stated in previous blogs on the subject, firms that ignore activities to design their client’s experience do so at their own peril. There is no greater arrogance than to assume that the client is yours for life. It’s not about giving them what you want. It’s about giving them more than they expect.
Consider the asset management industry. Some firms would say, “it’s all about returns.” Others might disagree. A recent press release by Greenwich Associates stated that their research, “shows that although investment performance is by far the number-one determinant of clients’ perceptions of their asset managers, quality of client service has a direct and measurable impact on key business performance metrics.”
How much does performance influence perception? I’ve heard some say 50%. Greenwich Associates would say it is closer to 70%. Key point? It isn’t 100%.
Given the preceding how does one integrate quality customer service into the client journey? Let’s revisit where we are. In my previous post, we discussed “prospects”.
Let’s move on to the “dabblers.” These are prospects who decided to take a bite of whatever you’re offering. What should your primary strategy be at this part of the relationship? To reinforce their purchase decision with a series of steps to include:
- Task personnel with ensuring the client onboarding process is seamless. Have metrics in place to measure.
- Query new clients on the onboarding process. Did it meet/exceed expectations?
- Have your client relationship team map out and populate the CRM with the following:
– Who are the primary contacts? What information should be directed to them?
– Who do they consider to be “best in class” for service? Or simply put, what’s your benchmark?
– What kind of information would they find useful?
– How do they like to be contacted? How often?
- Organize your team to have multiple points of contact with the client. If it’s an institution, ensure that the firm’s key centers of influence are covered by the team.
- Offer the “dabbler” the opportunity to meet with your “advocate” clients to learn how they can maximize a relationship with you.
- Create special events for clients to attend. Invite ‘dabblers.”
- Survey the client (at least semi-annually) for satisfaction and to check-in on what’s happening in their world.
- Invite some of your “dabbler’s” onto client advisory boards (new product, service).
Why put such an emphasis on “dabblers”? Here are a few reasons:
- There is plenty of evidence to support that a new customer’s early experience sets the relationship tone and predicts their likelihood of staying with you long term.
- Client retention is cheaper than client acquisition.
- Satisfied clients are your best advertisements.
Here are few other stats about customer engagements.
As Sam Walton said, “Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want – and a little more.”
Who knows? Don’t lose your head. Do the preceding exceedingly well and you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it too!