Having the goals of reducing variation and maximising client appreciation are the first steps to saving a fortune, and creating one in the process.
It may seem a simple and almost self-evident concept: to always maximise the appreciation levels of your clients, as the best things often are. Yet, despite this apparent simplicity, these principles are still rarely applied with any sense of consistency or conviction by businesses today.
In your own experiences as a client, how often can you really say you have had a 10/10 experience with a company?
Once you have this process mastered, your client appreciation level will rise across the board, bringing up client loyalty, your referral rate, your wallet share and profit margins with it.
There is a fortune to be made in getting this process right, and huge risk to the future prospects of your company if you don't.
What does it mean to minimise variation? To do that, you have to understand what it is that creates the 10/10 client experiences your company can give. This information will show you what you need to be doing more of, and what you need to do less. This is not the sort of information that can come from an ineffectual online survey; extensive canvassing of clientele is required to go through every facet of what your company brings to its client experiences, finding out what your clients feel would or does give them a 10/10 level of appreciation.
Discover what that information is through comprehensive phone interviews, questioning and analysing the feelings and experiences your clients have had. With that information comes with the ability to mould out the new quality standards that keep your client appreciation levels at a constant 10/10.
In response to this you might find yourself asking some questions:
"Why should I go to the trouble and cost of maximising our client appreciation?"
"Aren't 8 or 9/10 client appreciation scores a satisfactory result?"
While these seem like reasonable thoughts, the reality is that a satisfactory process will only ever result in a satisfactory clientele. We have seen across all of our clients that even good companies with high levels in the 8's or 9's are still lacking the loyalty of their clients, sharing it with their competition in the industry. If you undertake the transformation of your company into the Deming ideal of a company geared towards quality and client appreciation, it is a change and consistency that your clients will recognise. Maintaining those changes and constantly evolving to reach that 10/10 experience will make your clients feel truly appreciated for their custom, and in turn earn their true loyalty.
Minimising variation and maintaining the highest standard of quality to achieve a 10/10 experience every single time doesn’t just lead to a rise in client loyalty, it also leads to one of the most important factors of all: Relevance.
If your company is relevant to its industry, it is leading that industry.
Companies that put in the considerable time, effort and expense to listen to their clients and employ the processes and ideals that make a 10/10 experience stand out vividly from their competition. Companies that stroll comfortably at an 8 (satisfaction) or 9/10 experience standard might do reasonable business but are demonstrably stuck in the same 'Fog of Irrelevance' as companies at 5, 6, or 7/10 experience standard.
Relevance is not an 8, relevance is a 10.
Relevance isn't simply a symbol of status; it's the element that will save you a monumental fortune by virtue of the amount of money you'll save in your marketing budget. When you’re relevant your market knows who you are and wants your services. Your clients are always talking about you, your list of potential clients now blankets the industry. You'll be saving huge amounts in marketing costs and consistently growing as a company in both profits and identity.
From interviewing tens of thousands of end user clients at SAGUITY, our data proves that if you can master those first steps of minimising variation from your client experience process, it will always pay dividends in the advantages it will give you and the fortune you’ll no longer lose.
Darrell Hardidge is an international author, speaker and innovator of the Client Appreciation Index. Darrell shares the knowledge and best practices of No.1 companies in his book, The Client Revolution, and through his CX strategy company SAGUITY. For more information, visit his website at www.saguity.com.