By Michael Warren, VP, Client Development & Intake, Wilson Allen
Introduction to a six-part series on developing a successful client-centric culture and how to address the resulting operational implications
To grow and be profitable in today’s environment, professional services firms realize the value of client centricity. Increasingly firms are looking to adjust how they go to market with a much greater emphasis on being client-centric, enhancing the client experience, and reducing the impact of the firm’s operational constraints on how they interact with clients. Firms are learning that this is easier said than done. For many, it’s almost a complete 180ᵒ change in direction. Take client onboarding, for example. Ironically, this administrative process is often called “know your client,” yet it typically has very little to do with what’s best for the client.
It’s important to define what being client-centric is. At Wilson Allen, we view client centricity as follows:
- Understanding, capturing, and sharing a client’s business goals and challenges with your colleagues
- Structuring processes and systems, not just for your benefit, but for the benefit of your clients (for example: simplifying client onboarding)
- Leveraging your experience, expertise, and connections for the benefit of your clients – not just to win new clients
- Listening to and acting on the feedback that you receive from your clients
- Implementing systems and workflows that not only encourage client-centric behaviors by your people, but also make client centricity integral to your organization’s culture
- Ensuring that those systems and workflows provide your people with the data that they need to make better decisions for the benefit of your clients, and avoiding gatekeeping unless needed for information security reasons
- Focusing training and communication around system deployment that emphasizes strategy and business outcomes rather than simply how to make the software work
There are, of course, many other things that make up a client-centric mindset, but over the coming weeks, we’ll discuss some of these and the operational implications that firms are grappling with as they seek to become more client-centric. We’ll share the perspectives and practical advice offered by our subject matter experts in a six-part blog post series that will focus on:
- Value Vs. Performance: Measuring Success in Terms of Client Value
- Breaking the Mold: Becoming A Connected Firm to Enhance Client Value
- Analytics as a Discipline: Boosting Your Maturity Model to Be Better Connected
- Rethinking Partner Compensation: The Role of Value Creation
- Moving to the Cloud to Maximize Client Success: 5 Key Considerations
- If You Deploy It, Will They Use It? Modernization Through Change Management
Explore these posts to see how your firm can advance its business strategies to better understand and meet client needs and expectations. By enhancing your use of software, data, and processes, your firm can work and interact with your clients – and colleagues – more effectively.
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