My wife and I joke with each other, while posting pictures of us on date night, that if it doesn’t appear on Facebook it didn’t actually happen.
In a recent client advisory board, the firm wanted to find out what clients thought of its new and improved planning and file sharing systems. If I can briefly summarize their feedback, it was “oh, you have a new system? (Maybe that’s why the old links to upload my documents weren’t working.)”
The advisor was shocked and commented during the summary of the meeting “I guess we need to do a better job communicating our technology!” Exactly.
Like my wife posting evidence of our excursions to Facebook, the investments and improvements you make to the service you provide don’t really count until clients become conscious of them. If you invest time and money to expand your capabilities, extend your services, or simply do a better job, you deserve to get credit for it. You need to get credit if it is to translate into greater loyalty, perceived value, and referrals.
Here are a few tips for getting the biggest return on the investment in expanding your capabilities.
Start with the demo
Before premiering a new process, technology, or service, bring a small group of clients together and show them how it works. Find out where they perceive the value. Note any aspects they don’t understand or find confusing. Confirm they see it as an improvement.
Make an announcement
Organize a communication strategy to describe your expanded capability. Not only will you let existing clients know that you are continually working to improve your service but you can get public relations mileage out of it as well. It’s another reason someone may notice your firm and become interested.
Add a brief tour to client agendas
For the next round of client meetings, set aside a few minutes to orient people to the new system or capabilities. Reinforce the message that you are continually investigating ways to do a better job. Incorporate the feedback from your demo. Highlight aspects that the focus group found valuable.
Conduct a brief survey
Once the change has been fully incorporated into your service, survey clients about it. It can provide you valuable confirmation that people perceive the value you hoped they would see. It also provides a subtle reminder of your efforts to consistently upgrade your service.
You invest time and effort to improve what you do for clients. You deserve to be recognized for it. Don’t miss out on the benefits of increased satisfaction, loyalty, and referrals because you did not make a point of bringing it to their attention.