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Client centricity in professional

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The generic customer today moves within a technology context and wants the resulting experience to meet his needs at a higher level. Specifically, a client who needs professional services does not just want a company to provide quality service but wants to receive an excellent experience and results.

Because professional services are intangible, the challenges of companies in this industry sectors in dealing with the customer are the following: explaining the solution offered and its benefits, measuring customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty, ensuring superior service quality and growing the expertise of its team of consultants.

Companies have responded on how they deal with these challenged to the study “Barometer of client-centricity” conducted by the consulting company Valoria and the following are the main findings relevant to the professional service industry.

  • For responding companies in the professional services industry, what makes a company the best on the market is the annual increase in consumer satisfaction (49%), followed by an annual increase in service quality by decreasing demand-settling times %) and customer retention (19%).
  • In order to be more customer-centric, the companies in the professional services industry focus on creating processes that deliver customer-relevant services (51%), facilitating cooperation between company departments (41%), operationalizing client-centered values of the organization (38%), rewarding customer relationship performance with bonuses and promotions (38%) and using tools for customer relationship management (38%).
  • From a go-to-market perspective, in order to be better centered on the client, professional services companies look at expanding their products and services range according to client needs (57%), offering services at prices that are considered correct by clients and creating and consolidating the trusted advisor relationship with the clients (54% each).
  • The three main challenges of the companies in the professional services industry, according to respondents to the above-mentioned barometer, are the following: lack of technology platforms for customer data management (35%), silo-based departments that do not share client data (30%) and support staff unable to handle customer issues (27%)
  • 37% of respondents in the professional service industry say they have a budget dedicated to customer experience, compared to 63% who say they do not have such a budget. Of the companies that have a dedicated budget, 37% say they have built their budget by aligning departmental targets to increase customer focus and 32% by focusing on customer lifecycle (acquisition, retention, loyalty, etc.). It is also worth mentioning that the largest proportion of respondents (37%) of those with dedicated customer experience budgets have not explicitly assigned any department to have the responsibility for this budget.
  • The most commonly used approaches to client knowledge and traceability of support services performance in industry services companies are the following: analyzing the most frequently encountered customer problems (50%) and periodically updating customer data to facilitates a better experience with the company (45%).
  • Customer experience improvement initiatives with the biggest impact in the business of professional services companies are prioritized according to customer satisfaction (78%), ensuring the best service quality (59%) and reducing the incidence of errors (41%).
  • The most commonly used tools for collecting information from clients to improve their experience are marketing (53%) and analytics data (50%). The most used methodologies for improving client experience in the professional services companies are the Voice of the Customer (50%) and the Net Promoter Score (22%).

The client-centered companies are 60% more profitable than those that are not client-centered. Focusing on the client in the professional services industry means not only providing quality services but also a superior experience from the point of contact with the customer, passing through the sales process and ending with the delivery process of the contracted services. It is the summary of a journey where the client interacts with the company, at the end of which decides whether to use the services it offers or not.

Author: Florentina Șușnea, Managing Partner, PKF Finconta
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