September 10, 2014 / Uncategorized

3 Ways you can use your client focus to win new business.  

How does your agency differentiate itself? Do you focus on the experience of your team, the awards you’ve won, or your impressive client portfolio? There are many ways to stand apart from the competition, but there is one that is resonating more with decision makers today: a real commitment to client service excellence.

Chances are you’ve heard a potential partner or competitor tout its commitment to customers. Perhaps your agency even claims to be ‘customer-centric’ as well. What does this really mean? You send out client surveys? You have your ‘go-to’ client references or testimonials? Your agency’s client service values are listed on your website?

While these actions can certainly make it appear you care about client satisfaction, there are actually many different layers to achieving true customer-centricity. Senior leaders must lead the charge and regularly reinforce its importance, employees need clear ‘line-of-sight’ into how their actions contribute to the client experience, action must be taken based on input received from clients, and so on.

How can you illustrate to potential clients that your agency actually ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to customer-centric attitudes and behaviors?

1. Describe your customer-centric philosophy. Your approach to maintaining an open and honest dialogue with clients; the formal feedback collection efforts you have in place; the importance you place on hiring the right employees and retaining them; setting business goals based on client experience objectives; the senior team’s involvement with each account; the escalation process if an issue arises. These are all areas potential clients will be pleased to hear about as they see how you’ve embedded customer-centric processes and behaviors in your organizational DNA.

2. Explain how you act on client feedback. It doesn’t matter if your engagements are project based or retainer based – having a systematic and disciplined process for gathering feedback shows potential clients that their satisfaction matters. Tell prospects how often you solicit feedback, who reviews it, and any procedures you employ when “closing the loop.” These actions provide further assurance that clients’ voices are being both heard and used to help inform important operational and resource decisions.

3. Outline the client experience metrics your agency tracks. Why would a potential client care about the KPIs your agency measures? Many prospects have been burned before – constant turnover on their account team, deadlines missed, poor ROI. Boasting about how successful you are at establishing true partnerships helps you differentiate from the competition. Net Promoter Score®, client retention, employee satisfaction, and the percentage of accounts that serve as references all provide verification that keeping clients happy is a top priority.

Potential clients are beginning to catch on: any company can announce that it’s customer-centric, but it’s quite different to actually live it. Give prospects the confidence that your agency will treat them better – you will not only win more deals but also retain and grow your existing accounts.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily SEMPO.

®Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld

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