What is a client journey?
Your client’s journey is the experience your customer has while using your company’s services; from the very first interaction you have with them to the last.
It is how you speak to them, communicate by email with them, treat them in person, how your website is set up to help them etc.
Consistency is key
Every time you acquire a new client they should receive the same level of service and attention as the last.
For example if you are a Virgin Atlantic customer, you can be sure that the company has gone to a lot of trouble to make your experience of using their service an enjoyable and distinctive one.
From the moment you book your flight online with them to the moment your flight ends.
And if you choose to fly with them again, you will receive the same high level of service.
If your client has a positive client journey they are more likely to come back to repeat the experience as well as recommend you to their friends.
However, if your client has a good experience, you have to make sure the next time they will receive the same level of service because otherwise they can become disgruntled very quickly.
To put this in simple terms, you can’t go to your hairdresser one day and receive a free cup of coffee and a head massage and the next time you go you are offered neither. You’ll feel short changed.
As an Account Manager you need to make sure that your client’s journey is clearly defined and consistent and that you deliver the kind of service the customer deserves and comes to expect in future.
This is not about a ‘one size fits all’ approach to client relationships.
It is about creating a company-wide, consistent approach to providing a high level of customer service that could become a significant differentiator for your company.
It will also enable your clients to confidently recommend you – because they know that others will experience the same level of service.
Here are some tangible examples:
Starting a new client relationship
When you acquire a new client do you have a standard way of setting up the working relationship? Do kick-off meetings always happen? Do you have a standard form you complete with all the client’s details?
Do you have a standard set of questions you ask to help create a picture of their challenges so you can help solve them? Do you agree the best way of communicating with the client during the relationship as well as set a review date to check on relationship progress?
When clients visit you
When clients come to your office, do you always follow a similar format; Are agendas printed? Visitors warmly welcomed? Refreshments provided? Coats taken? Introductions given? Clients shown around the office if they haven’t visited before?
Following the client meeting
And after significant client meetings? Do you always follow up with a summary of key points and actions? Send a thank you note?
How to create your client journey
If you’re serious about providing great customer service, a client journey can help provide a road map that all account managers can follow.
To map your client journey, take the time to gather a group of colleagues around a flip chart and identify at what point the client will first interact with the company and see the experience through their eyes.
Ask yourselves questions like; What would make a great experience for them? What do they want to hear? Who do they want to see? How do they want to be made to feel? What information would be useful to them? How often do they want to be contacted? etc.
Once you begin to identify these things, you can start to plot a pathway that provides a roadmap for all your colleagues to follow. And this will ensure everyone is delivering a high level consistent service.
Once put into practice, a defined client journey can then evolve and change as your company changes.
Would a client journey be an interesting exercise to carry out with your colleagues or team?