Client relationship management by and large depends on your ability to create an exceptional client experience. From answering the phone to handling a client's stock portfolio, companies have an increasing number of opportunities to captivate their clients. Client experience impacts your clients' perception of your business and the financial well-being of your organization. The marketplace for businesses involved in virtually every industry has become increasingly competitive because a greater number of companies are able to provide generally the same service. If clients can get the same product or service from a competitor for roughly the same price, what's keeping them coming back to you?
What Drives Loyalty?
Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys believes consumers largely anticipate sales and discounts making various brands interchangeable with one another. The key is emotional engagement. According to Passikoff, loyal clients are six times more likely to decline offers from competitors, have higher considerations of a brand and recommend a brand to their friends.
The Brand Keys 2014 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index recently took stock of roughly 32,000 American consumers between 18 - 65 from across the U.S. Companies are assessed based on both rational and emotional metrics that influence consumer decisions and how they come to recognize an ideal experience.
No Love Lost for Banking Institutions
This year's report found companies in the financial services ranked near the bottom of all categories, with JPMorgan Chase leading the way with 79 percent out of a potential 100. According to Marketing Daily, trust and confidence; empowered benefits; and depth of value were the strongest emotional drivers that influenced consumers' expectations. Compare this number with the leading credit card provider Discover, which received a score of 94 percent.
So, clients obviously aren't conspiring against all financial institutions, but they expect to be engaged on a more emotional level than what many banks are currently offering. The foundational theme for client relationship management is people are social creatures and prefer to be treated as such with -sometimes complex - emotional needs that need to be satisfied, often before their overtly rational requirements.
According to Forbes, the majority of brands don't effectively measure whether or not they're meeting the expectations of their clients, especially with regard to their emotional well-being. Those that do tend to be perceived as having a product or service that provides added value on top of the actual service offered. After roughly 20 years, consumer expectations have grown by 30 percent, while the service brands are actually delivering has risen by just 6 percent. There's a sizable gap between these two figures and emotional engagement is the driving force that driving the wedge between clients and businesses.
While this information may prove depressing for some companies, it really should be a source of motivation for most. There's no rule written anywhere that says your company must maintain the same client relationship management strategy that has brought about increased client churn, decreased loyalty and less satisfied clients. What companies often require is a thoughtful and detailed reexamination of the policies and client-facing personnel they have in place. The more quickly you recognize where you can offer a more valid and valuable experience, the sooner you'll likely see your client relationships turn around.