Do You Have a Disciplined Client Experience?

Red divider line

Do You Have a Disciplined Client Experience?

Red divider line

Recently I was speaking with a younger advisor who was laser-focused on building her business. 

Her knowledge of the sales process was expansive. She had researched sales tactics, read a small library of sales books and attended conferences. As a result, she had a deep understanding of every aspect of sales from goal-setting, to activity planning, to building rapport and communicating her value.

But her business was not growing. Far from it.

As we talked, one thing became clear. While she knew the tactics cold, a deep-seated fear of rejection was stopping her from picking up the proverbial phone.

Her primary sales approach was a toxic mix of perfection and procrastination. 

The Target vs. The Discipline

This one conversation highlighted a critical point that not only applies to sales, but to all aspects of managing and growing a business. 

There's a big difference between the strategies, tactics and processes we apply and the disciplines we need to strengthen in order to succeed. Both are important.

In my previous example, a strategy might be setting clear activity goals but the discipline is mindset (tackling the internal demons that get in the way). If she could ‘fix’ the mindset, then every strategy, tactic and process would improve.

The same is true for client experience. While we tend to focus on ‘what’ we are trying to improve (e.g., onboarding) there are a set of disciplines that will improve your client experience game across the board.

In a recent post, I shared a video that highlights the difference between two key concepts, both of which are critical to designing and delivering a truly engaging client experience:

  • Your CX Targets - what you can improve.
  • Your CX Disciplines - how you can improve it.  

Client Experience and Your Inner Athlete

Think of this as you might think about how an athlete improves his or her game.

If your goal is to improve your tennis game (or compete at a high level) you will likely start by focusing on ‘what’ you can improve. That might be your serve, your groundstrokes, your volley or your overhead smash.

At the same time, you could focus on ‘how’ to improve, by building skills that positively impact every stroke. In tennis the strength of every stroke is the result of how an athlete builds up, stores and transfers energy (what is referred to as the kinetic chain). It starts in the feet and extends up through the body, to the racket and then to the ball. 

The goal is to have everything working together toward a more powerful outcome.

It’s the same with client experience. There are a set of disciplines, or techniques, that will help you up your client experience game across the board.

The Seven Disciplines of Client Experience

An extraordinary client experience, at every stage of the client journey, is:

  1. Defined. Your client experience is defined if you have mapped out clear and formal steps for each stage of the client journey. For example, exactly what happens when a prospect reaches out, when you onboard a new client or before, during and after a client review?   
  2. Efficient. Your client experience is efficient if you have automated the tasks/communications that are triggered at each stage of the client journey. For example, what are the series of tasks that are triggered when a client books a review meeting?
  3. Responsive. Your client experience is responsive when your processes and communications are informed by direct input from your target clients. For example, does your onboarding process reflect input from new clients who have been through the process? Do your client communications reflect the key needs and challenges of your target market?
  4. Personalized. Your client experience is personalized if it specifically reflects the stated needs, interests or concerns of individual clients. For example, does your review meeting format change based on preferences for in-person vs. virtual meetings? Do you share educational content that is personalized to the client level?
  5. Adopted. Your client experience is adopted if it is delivered consistently by all advisors at the firm or on your team. For example, do all advisors follow a similar process for setting client reviews?
  6. Measured. Your client experience is measured if you ask for formal feedback to understand the quality, strengths and weaknesses of each stage of the client journey. For example, do you measure client engagement or satisfaction annually?

The beauty of looking at your client experience through this lens is that you can focus on one discipline at a time and apply it across each stage of the client journey.  Recall that the client journey starts when the client is a prospect and is just learning about you for the first time.

Assess Your Client Experience

If you’re interested in assessing how you stack up on these key disciplines (and more) we’re just launching a complimentary tool called the CX Scan. If you invest about seven minutes you can measure your overall client experience and drill down to each discipline to identify your best opportunities to drive deeper engagement.

The CX Scan launches next week and you access that by adding your name to the waitlist here.

Thanks for stopping by


About the author

Julie Littlechild

Julie is a recognized expert on the drivers and evolution of client experience, client engagement. and referral growth. She is responsible for: designing the firm's strategic vision and product roadmap, conducting on-going investor and advisor research, driving firm growth and representing the company on conference stages around the world.
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