Communicating with our clients is by no means a new idea. It's been prevalent as long as the concept of commerce has existed. However in today’s environment communicating effectively means knowing your client, understanding what they want, and delivering to their needs in the way the client expects.
This last part is especially important today - and is what distinguishes how client communications has evolved. Having solutions available to our existing and intended clients is no longer good enough. After all if they don’t know about you, or you don’t deliver to them in the timeframe they expect, they will go elsewhere.
Through the various firms I have helped to grow over the past few decades, client relationships have been the key to my activities, focus and success. In some cases we offered technologies that directly facilitated the general environment of the client communications space (ie : telecoms, call centers ), while in other firms our focus regarding client communications was in how we engaged our customers. Today, at Xpertdoc, we are offering empowering technologies that enabled the professional to interact with their clients in a timely, personalised manner.
How many firms do we know today that really listen to their customer?
I’ve had both the pleasure and struggle of working with various firms (clients and partners) that ‘get’ client communications to varying degrees. But it’s from a personal experience that I can showcase the impact of getting client communications right – by knowing what your customer wants even before they do ... and delivering to areas the customer never even expected.
This was a special experience that clearly showed me the business was listening to ME – the customer. On an impulse one afternoon, I walked into a Dormez-Vous shop in Montreal – a mattress company. Actually, I was meeting friends for lunch in the area and was a little early, so I decided to spend the ½ hour or so shopping. My husband and I had talked vaguely about replacing our mattresses but had made no effort to do so until then.
What was evident from my interactions at this shop was that the company took great effort to think about what was important to the client, and also made sure to further empower their sales staff to take decisions on things that were unanticipated when working with clients (supposedly within guidelines that worked with their corporate philosophy). While looking around at their various mattresses, I was educated on the pros and cons of memory foam versus coil versus waterbeds and other options... informed about the store policies on trials, returns etc... learnt of the services they offered for removal of old mattresses... was thrilled to learn what they did with these discarded mattresses... heard about their social conscience and community involvement... was invited to test the mattresses I was interested in... even had my specific requests smoothly addressed (actually – these were issues I was putting forward as objections!). I was so taken by the professionalism and way the sales guy listened to me, offered suggestions and then let me take the time to decide (ie this was not a pressured sales environment at all) that I actually recall telling the guy that “he was making it impossible for me to NOT buy from him!” Not only did he gain me as a client, I have also been an avid promoter of this company’s products & services any chance I get! (to wit: the first example I recall and quote in this blog is about them!). A friend recently commented after hearing this story – “Ahhhh, sounds like this guy won you over as a life-time client.”. I would agree - with the caveat that “as long as they continue to live up to my expectations and experience”!
I was truly a client ‘excited’ about my interaction with the store. We should all be striving to find ways to excite and wow our clients!
Through this blog, I plan to share a variety of views, trends and experiences on client communications that stem from my experiences. While I have presented on the topic of client communications in formal and informal environments in the past, it’s because of some recent discussions and renewed interest in the insurance community that I have chosen to use this forum for discussion. I have the hope that this blog will become a community for others also interested in this topic. As such, I encourage and welcome your comments, insights and input as we move through the continuing evolution of client communications.
Thanks for stopping by!