Seven insights into client care and service excellencePosted on: October 4, 2015
Last week I facilitated a CLT seminar on “Client care, client service and client retention” http://www.clt.co.uk/course/Client-Care-Service-Excellence-and-Retention/
Whilst we covered a lot of material relating to understanding commercial and consumer client needs, engaging everyone in responding appropriately at all touch points and best practice in day-to-day service delivery, client care and relationship management, there were a few topics that struck a particular chord with the delegates:
1. Separating the technical from the service delivery issues – Some professional advisers continue to think that clients assess quality of service based solely on the technical content of the legal work. However, many clients will be more concerned with service delivery issues such as attitude, speed of response, perceived value and the relationship. Broadly, lawyers focus on the rational issues whereas clients consider emotional reactions.
2. Perception A lawyer’s perception of what happens may be quite different from the client’s. But at the end of the day, it is the client’s perception that matters. For example, a lawyer may consider his or her behaviour as “professional”, but a client may perceive the same behaviour as “aloof” or even “arrogant”. Training programmes to improve empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ) and procedures that allow time to assess and probe client perceptions can help.
3. Importance of anticipation The fundamental philosophy for marketers is to “anticipate and meet client needs whilst making a profit”. Whilst professionals recognise the need to be “proactive” (a horrid word for describing knowing what the client is likely to want and need in the future), work pressures and systems and processes often leave them with little option than to be reactive.
4. Managing expectations and reducing uncertainty Communication is vital to ensure that the service is aligned with what the client expects and also to reduce uncertainty. This is particularly relevant where it comes to costs/pricing, timescales and the likelihood of different outcomes. Taking time at the outset to understand the client needs and situation (called “scoping” in project management) is a key component.
5. Mapping the entire client journey While many firms will have mapped out the client journey at the outset of a piece of work – the way in which initial enquiries are managed, how interest is converted and clients are “on-boarded”, there is often less attention paid to the journey once the case has started. The client journey during the matter and when the work is completed and there is billing and aftercare is equally important
6. Social media for client service Many consumer brands monitor social media to pick up and respond (offline) to customer dissatisfaction, but little use is made of this in the professions. Some client segments rely heavily on social media for their communications but often find that professional advisers rely on email and telephone and ignore newer communication platforms such as Skype, FaceTime and instant messaging.
7. Monitoring measures for service improvement While many firms recognise the need to improve client service and ensure it is consistent across different people and teams, few have invested in systems (for example, rolling client satisfaction and listening programmes and Net Promoter Score – NPS – tracking) that provide measurement. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.
A while back I wrote a blog with a simple ABC guide to creating a culture relationship management: http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/faq/how-do-i-cultivate-a-culture-of-good-client-relationship-management/
- Rainmakers and Trailblazers – Business development for lawyers
- How can I improve my pricing strategy?
- Client feedback – Insights into general counsel needs (2014 part one)
- Six highlights from CLT’s Business Development for Lawyers training course
- Professional Service Firms: Reflections on 2014 – Actions for 2015
- Property marketing case studies – Relationship management at DTZ, GVA, JLL, Knight Frank and Savills
- Accountancy marketing case studies – Strategy and relationship management at BDO, Grant Thornton and RSM International
- Legal marketing case studies – Strategy and relationship management at Bird & Bird, DLA Piper, Mills & Reeve and Obelisk
- Client Relationship Management (CRM) for local government lawyers
- Law South Conference 2015 – “Achieving extraordinary client engagement” with empowerment, value, disruption, disobedience and psychology
- Legal sector research: Highlights from “The Age of the Client” by LexisNexis
- Seven thoughts on private client marketing (June 2015)
- Positive, persuasive and persistent - Therapy and theory of partner buy-in
- Digital marketing and social media in the legal sector update – Law Society and The Lawyer
- Client service insights – Empathy, measurement and reverse thinking
- Pricing problems across the professions
- Futurologist Chris Yapp on “The professional firms of 2020”
- Client satisfaction benchmarks – How do you measure up?
- Brand basics
- Five insights from developing a privately funded family law practice
- Managing client service in surveying and property partnerships
- Satisficing or satisfying? – Take care with client care and relationship management
- A-E of cultivating a culture of relationship management
- The pricing of family law services – An overview
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – Comparing systems for lawyers and marketers
- Pick up the phone – Creating better business relationships with telephones
- 7 building blocks of a proactive marketing executive (2015)
- Reasons to invest in a Key Account Management (KAM) programme
- 10 tips on price communications for professionals
- Legal market research – Brand promises and service realities 2017/18 by Nisus Consulting
- Property marketing case study – Client and key client relationship management at JLL
- Integrated marketing – Joined up sector, KAM and CEM programmes
- Be more T Rex - Client management with dinosaurs
- Commerciality – Finance, pricing, innovation and research
- Key Account Management KAM in a nutshell
- Change management in a surveyors’ practice – Bridging the gap between the old and the new
Category: Accountants, Kim's Blog, Lawyers, Management Skills, Marketing, Property, Relationship Management, Social Media
Tagged: Client experience, Client service, Lawyers, Legal Marketing, Management, Managing Partner, Marketing, Perception, Project management, Psychology, Relationship management, Satisfaction, Service excellence, Solicitors, Training, User experience