Having recently launched our new subscription-based model, creating an excellent client experience is top of mind for us. As a critical part of a business model, we want to share our development journey so you can see how it unfolds and use it as inspiration to help define or refine your client experience.
The client experience is the sum total of every interaction a client has with your business, team, and messaging. It starts with their earliest exposure to your marketing content and is influenced by every interaction they have as a client. The client experience includes what they receive as a client and how they feel about the delivery process and interactions with you at every level.
The client experience is critical to every customer or client's journey when interacting with a business. Some companies spend tremendous time and effort defining what they want their clients to experience. And many, probably most businesses, leave it to a random set of activities – sometimes thinking a bit about it but not making it a priority or a defined process.
Good customer service makes for good business, so it should deserve focused attention. According to research compiled by HubSpot, high-end service has numerous financial benefits.
- Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition.
- Customers will pay more to companies with better customer service.
- Customer service grows customer lifetime value.
- Customer service can lead to more revenue.
Companies that offer first-class customer experience tend to grow faster and more profitably. In fact, companies considered leaders in client experience see more than double the revenue growth of companies not making client experience an intentional focus. Even after a dip in revenue during the pandemic, the client experience leaders were in a better position and rebounded more quickly than others.
Getting your arms around these ideas can feel a little daunting because it means changing how things are done in your company and shaking things up a bit. Clients want to be seen and heard, and your goal should be to find and build empathy with your clients. Understand what they think, feel, and do during their journey with you. When you make that a priority, you win with clients.
As you get comfortable with these ideas, you can create an internal structure and processes that focus on doing right by your clients and delivering them what they want and what delights them. When you can do this, your client retention improves, and turning your clients into promoters of your business becomes a reality.
Defining the Q4i experience
We made a major addition to our business model by adding a subscription-based service that allows us to serve substantially more people in benefits and insurance businesses. And a new model calls for a fresh look at what we want our clients to experience.
Taking our own advice and following the guidelines in our book, The Salesperson's Guide to Growing a Business, we've set up a series of team meetings to create our vision of our client experience. We assigned Chapter 14, “Why Service Deserves Pillar Status,” and Chapter 15, “Delivering an Intentional Client Experience,” as pre-session homework. We asked everyone to come prepared with notes of what client experience means to them and how we see it playing out with our Q4i subscribers.
So far, we've had three sessions where we've defined touch points along the journey from introduction to purchase to subscriber to renewal, created our initial definition of "client experience," and outlined what we want the client to do and feel.
Following are some of the highlights from our outline.
Our client experience vision
We want to be the go-to business growth platform for employee benefits and insurance businesses. We want to impact the essence of who they are professionally and create an experience so valuable that they consider us indispensable. We create an intentional atmosphere of welcoming education and collaboration. People expect an exceptional experience, and we are committed with our time, finances, and resources to deliver it.
👉 Things we want our clients and Q4i to do
- Clients visit the site daily to engage in discussions and seek advice from their peers and our coaches. When they have questions about running and growing their business, they start by coming to our site for answers.
- We guide and nurture clients using the platform and content through email, notifications, one-on-one support, and group engagement.
- We understand our clients' needs to a "T" because we regularly ask for feedback and consistently track and review reports, allowing us to respond quickly when we see disruption.
- People feel so empowered by what they receive from us and the network that they are compelled to share their experiences with others and promote the platform.
- Our sales conversation and inbound/outbound marketing sets accurate expectations for clients around what they should expect on the platform. There is a clear onboarding process that the client finds helpful and engaging and builds trust.
- New users come to us because they are compelled by what they see and hear from others and want to be a part of the learning community.
❤️🔥 Things we want our clients to think or feel
- “It feels amazing to finally feel in control of my business: I have built a business plan and defined my client experience and retention strategy as my guiding principles. I use a consistent sales process that helps me earn new business in a way that develops deep relationships with my clients.”
- “I feel good about my wins and can visualize my progress with the guidance and resources Q4i and the peer network provide.”
- “My growth is much simpler and attainable because of Q4i. I am growing as a result of my engagement.”
- “I feel supported in where I am as a professional, and I know there's more when I'm ready for it.”
- “I feel connected to and inspired by the Q4i team and the peer network because they are as engaged as I am and genuinely care about my growth and success.”
- “I feel compelled to return to the platform repeatedly, and I am proud of my contribution to the network through discussion groups and peer conversations.”
- “I feel consistently heard and valued in sharing my opinion on how my experience could be improved and what's working/not working.”
Working toward aspirations
There's a lot to be done to create what we want, and we have many tools and resources to gather data and feedback on how our clients are responding and feeling. Many things frustrate clients, and paying attention to the experience must be a priority if you want to grow your business through happy clients and referrals.
According to HotJar, these are the top issues that frustrate customers:
- Long wait times
- Employees who don't understand customer needs
- Unresolved issues/questions
- Too much automation/not enough of a human touch
- Service that doesn't provide a personalized experience
- Rude/angry employees
Some of these frustrations can be readily addressed with company culture and team expectations. Others will require gathering feedback and monitoring activities and team responses.
As we find struggle points for ourselves or our clients, we'll add those items to our roadmap of what to address through our platform or processes.
There's still more to do with our client experience planning. Even when we "finish" the planning part of the process, client experience is a core topic for review and modification and will receive ongoing, priority attention.
Our next steps will be to review the team and take inventory of what skills, behaviors, and roles we need to achieve our ideal client experience.
After taking that inventory, we'll break down the job duties, matching the responsibilities to the individual roles, current or future.
Stay tuned as we work through these pieces, and we'll update you on our progress. 😀
If you'd like to be part of the Q4i learning community as a benefits or insurance professional, we'd love to have you join the conversations and be an active contributor! Click below to learn more.
Photo by Deemerwha studio.