Customer Experience Innovators

There is a great disruption happening in customer experience and success where companies have elevated service expectations through digital means, helping them gain deep insights into customers in order to anticipate their needs.

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    Customer Experience Innovators

    Customer Experience Innovators

    For years, consumers have bemoaned the lack of service in the service economy. No longer. There is a great disruption happening in customer experience where companies like Amazon and Airbnb have elevated service expectations, mobile apps have transformed service access, and big data and advanced analytics have helped companies gain deep insights into customers and anticipate their needs.

    Businesses looking to avoid becoming a casualty of this disruption will need to meet the challenge of higher service standards by:

    1. Institutionalizing Service Innovation—Jeff Bezos has famously said that he is not competitor obsessed, but customer obsessed, and that he begins with determining customer needs first and working backwards.

    For advisors, institutionalizing service innovation begins with a disciplined and recurring exercise of finding new ways to please clients, built on regular customer surveys, periodic self-assessments and a written set of client service objectives against which to measure progress.

    1. Personalizing the Customer Experience—The Ritz-Carlton is legendary for its customer service. Central to that success is the practice of treating all its employees with respect and dignity, as well as empowering them to make on-the-spot decisions. In order to fulfill its goal of superior customer service, employees are authorized to spend up to $2,000 per day to improve the guest experience.

    Advisors don’t need to provide such a rich budget to their employees, but The Ritz-Carlton example does beg the question of how much latitude your employees have to ensure a great client experience.

    Personalizing the customer experience also requires knowing what your clients want. For instance, have you ever asked your clients how they would like to be contacted and how often? Have you asked them for feedback on how you are doing? Do you have a follow-up process with new clients to ensure their satisfaction? Are you actively seeking to create “Wow” moments with your clients?

    1. Simplifying Service Delivery—Many years ago, UPS decided to eliminate left turns on drivers’ delivery routes. This simple change led to reduced delivery times, cost savings, fewer accidents and increased customer satisfaction.

    When is the last time anyone in your practice posed the simple question, “Is there an easier way to do this?” Simplifying service delivery requires a rethinking of how you deliver your services, with an eye toward making it easier.

    Advisors who challenge themselves and their employees to up their service game will find that a more satisfied client leads to higher client retention rates and increased profitability.

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