Delivering consistent client service across a global or international network is a major challenge for leading service firms in banking and professional services.
As their needs have changed, clients have put pressure on their advisors to deliver more and to deliver it better. This in turn, presents a challenge for management teams responsible for creating a consistent service proposition across each geography in which their firm has a presence.
A focus on capturing and acting on the ‘client voice’ is key to building this consistent service approach. We see the evolution of a new generation of structured client engagement programmes. Business service firms are investing meaningful resource after many years when the volume of advisory work concealed patchy quality in client relationships. The downturn has been a catalyst for a new determination to tackle the issue which increasingly international clients want to engage with their advisors.
However, few advisory firms use their deeper knowledge of client needs effectively. They are not conducting the necessary programme of initiatives to align their organization around the client voice to deliver a consistent client experience.
How do senior management teams of professional firms successfully implement a programme to change behaviors in response to the client voice? How can you ensure successful alignment of your people around client needs to drive growth and profitability?
We offer 3 suggestions for those seeking to successful implement a programme to drive a more consistent client service approach aligned with their strategy:
- Ensure your organisation’s leadership demonstrates its commitment to the programme
It is vital for the success of any change programme to deliver consistent client service levels to have senior involvement. Senior management must set out why alignment around your clients’ international or global needs is important. They must demonstrate the importance of the programme and its role as part of your organisation’s growth strategy. And its importance to the careers of all individuals within the organisation, whether client facing or not.
- Align the different areas of your organisation around the programme
Ensure there is coordination between all the relevant areas of your organisation in implementing areas of any programme. For example, branding, internal or external communications and HR must all work to embed the client voice and the firm’s response. Any behaviours which you want to encourage, such as more team collaboration across different countries, should be duplicated and reinforced as part of your organisation’s brand values, HR competencies and incentives, and in the coaching and training curriculum across the firm.
- Involve the local teams in the organisation to shape and deliver a ‘glocal’ programme
Involve individuals from different regions of your organisation to shape the overall programme and its local elements. Identify realistic and practical deliverables in each region. Pilot the various elements of the project (e.g. a more standardised way of managing key points along the client relationship) across different regions. Front-line employees on the ground are likely to have a strong understanding of regional variations of their client’s needs and any potential issues with implementing a global approach. Build an understanding of any barriers to change.
To discuss how we can support your organisation’s renewal of its client relationship programme or for more information on how we help businesses to win, keep and deepen client relationships, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.