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4 Steps To An Unbelievable Client Experience

by Jeff Bennett

360 presented a webinar hosted by author/analyst Brian Solis and myself which featured content from Brian’s latest book #WTF?  What’s The Future Of Business?  Brian has done mountains of research around the great sea changes taking place in the modern business landscape and makes a really compelling argument for businesses to focus more on customer experience.  In fact, during the presentation, I was struck in particular by the great utility of his 6 Qualities That Define Engagement matrix.

These six qualities are a dynamite framework for a business looking to build out unbelievable experiences for their customers, whether it is channel marketing/sales ops people looking to build engagement in their channel or other marketing departments looking to build loyalty with a superb consumer rebate program.

(In case you are reading this on a device where you can’t see the below slide very well, the qualities are Valued, Efficiency, Trust, Consistency, Relevance and Control.)

If you missed the webinar but are working on improving how your company designs its customer and client journey with your brand, I highly recommend checking out the video recording of the webinar and reading Brian’s book.

Time For Some Action

If you’re reading this because the title caught your eye and you want to start taking action right now, start on your improvement of the client experience with these 4 steps:

1) Map out, at least at a high level, the client journey.

a)    Example client journey stages:  Pre-sales, Implementation, Client lifecycle (deployment to renewal)

b)    Identify ALL client stakeholders at each stage of the client journey

c)    Identify all stakeholders from your company that are involved in each stage (map out what is above and below the client visibility line – example above visibility line could be a Sales rep – below the visibility line could be a person in finance who deals with collections, but the client never sees or interacts with them.

d)    Identify the measurements that matter most for each stage (turnaround time, time to deploy, speed of payment, SLAs, etc.) – make sure there are just a few per stage – but that each would inform decision making.  Have targets!

2) For each client stakeholder (or persona) write down what they are likely to feel (and how you want them to feel) at each stage, then write down what their needs are going to be at each stage:

For example – PreSales: A stakeholder/decision maker may be thinking  “I feel anxious that I might make the wrong decision” then “ I need proof that they are the right partner for us”.

HINT – give it a go from your perspective, but you should also engage a few clients to confirm or add to your list of feelings and needs from each stakeholder at each stage.

3) Be CREATIVE! – Think of creative and memorable ways that you can address each feeling (and generate the desired feeling) and each need.  Use this opportunity to brainstorm, think of unique ways of addressing.  For example – at 360, when a new client comes on board we send them a welcome video to introduce the team members they’ll be working with, and welcoming them to the 360 family.

4) Look at all of the above through the 6 Qualities That Define Client Engagement from Brian Solis’s presentation (it’s slide 31).   How do your actions:

a)    Make clients feel VALUED?
b)    Provided a service as EFFICIENTLY as possible?
c)    Help to earn their TRUST?
d)    Ensure CONSISTENCY from one interaction to the next?
e)    Provide a high degree of RELEVANCE from one stakeholder (persona) to the next?
f)     Make the client feel in CONTROL?

rsz screen shot 2014 02 27 at 122714 pm

Of course, this framework is high level because each business is unique in many ways.   These steps, however, are principles that be applied to building out any customer’s journey with any business.   Rebate programs are a splendid example, in fact:  consumer rebate programs represent a situation where you have already won over the customer at every point so far in what Solis refers to as the Dynamic Customer Journey.   They have discovered, considered and purchased your product – the experience is unfolding beautifully so far.   Designing an incredible user experience for the rebate process should be the icing on the cake as you send them away happy until your next encounter.

I really urge you to take the time and discipline to map out unbelievable experiences for everyone who touches your brand.   In today’s attention economy, great experience are what will make your brand stand out among competitors as well as help you build a loyal customer base who will advocate for you to their own networks.

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