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Client Centricity – How to Create Great Client Experiences

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  1. Client Centricity defined
  2. The Steps to Creating a Great Client Experience

How often do you look forward to something based on a trusted recommendation as well as a brand’s reputation, only to have that turned on its head when you experience it?

Most every company we come into contact with is guilty of spoiling an experience that has been recommended to us by that same company’s clients, who have almost become company ambassadors or advocates as a result of positive experiences.

Why is this? Technology? I would argue not, as technology is the enabler. It can be the use of technology but more often than not, it is the people using the self-same technology. How sincere is the Maitre ‘de in enquiring about your meal. Do they really care? In most cases, not at all. It’s easy for us to pick up on this. After all, it was David Ogilvy who stated “The consumer isn’t stupid, she’s your wife.” So why do we mostly encounter half-hearted, at best, attitudes in supplying the quality of service we would all appreciate.

My view is simple. The vast majority of us are ready to complain when we are the client, but forget that the tables are turned, when we are the supplier or vendor and now are in the business of creating acceptable experiences for our clients. Surely it should be reasonably straight forward to put oneself in the client’s shoes? Clearly not!

Client Centricity starts at the Top (Chart 1)

chart1

A recent study amongst ‘C’ level management of over 400 companies in Europe and the US, by the New Jersey based Strativity Group, indicates that the problem would seem to lie with senior management. Chart 1 shows that they rank themselves as being approximately 50% along the path of client centricity. Pretty poor admission of guilt!!

So what is client centricity really and how does it relate to creating that unique client experience that results in the client becoming an advocate of your company, brand or service. A definition that I believe sums this up well is “Client Centricity are the feelings and thoughts resulting from all impressions, tangible and intangible, from anyone or anything representing directly or indirectly a company, brand, product or solution.”

In short, it is all about getting the disparate elements right. Let’s examine how that experience is developed and can be managed, both from delivering on the experience and having a positive impact on the bottom line.

chart2

Chart 2

Chart 2, above uses the simple coffee bean, as the basis of indicating how from being picked, value in the experience is added, thereby allowing certain outlets to charge a premium for that simply superb experience. The figures in the bubbles indicate the cost of a cup of coffee as one moves up the experience chain. By the way, given I am writing this during the Rugby World Cup, a friend who returned from Paris let me know that a beer on the Champs Elysee was R100.00 per glass. Was he paying for the beer or the experience? Just as I was happy to pay R95 for a cup of coffee in Venice, so was my friend in Paris. In both instances, we enjoyed the experience, yet it had nothing to do with the commodity that was being purchased.

So how does your business rank when it comes to client centricity? Do you know? Have you measured it recently and implemented and tracked changes? Or would you like to use a simple tool to assist you in understanding how your business ranks itself on this very important aspect?

Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. We focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.rassa.co.za

 

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