Key Clients - Foster or Forfeit
Key clients are always in keen demand and actively being seduced by
competitors. Typically generating exceptionally high levels of fees, they
provide a strong and steady income stream as well as adding profile and
prestige to your firm.
If you are thinking about how far you might go, to lure a ‘crown
jewel’, you might want to consider the steps your competitors are taking,
to steal yours, and what barriers you need to have in place to preclude
them from doing so.
Premium clients have a right to expect service excellence. However, too
few firms explore what those expectations are and have no profile to
identify what their ‘crown jewel’ clients look like, sound like and behave
like and what they typically value about your firm and the kind of
services you provide.
Therefore service delivery grinds to a halt beyond broad promises of:
- Consistently excellent service - what does that mean?
- Dedicated partner relationships - what does that entail?
- Value delivery in your services - how will you demonstrate that?
- Opportunities to explore their growth potential - how often do you
- Corporate hospitality and entertaining - what differentiates
Tailored services require bespoke knowledge and consistent application.
If you don’t know what inspires and motivates your key clients, you can be
sure your competitors are finding out. If your barriers are low, it will
be easy to persuade your clients to move away.
Losing ‘crown jewels’
can be costly, in terms of:
- immediate loss of their fees
- time taken to find replacement key clients
- costs in tendering or submitting proposals
- potential media attention, which can be unsettling to other
Competitive gold standard service
your key clients and understanding their expectations is the first step
towards implementing a consistent service standard, befitting the
significance of their account. The firms who compete for your client’s
business will offer:
||Dedicated partner-led service, taken as read, with a proactive
and constructive contact programme that balances business and
hospitality and extends the relationship inside the firm, ensuring
integrated communications and activities.|
||Client-led firms define their service criteria: response times,
business team awareness and urgency are all internally measurable
and externally discernible. |
||Evidence of particular efforts and consideration are clearly
indicated so clients remain aware that they are not being issued
Specialist sector or market intelligence, that supports the
client’s business, is distilled into reports, surveys and seminars,
providing opportunities for demonstrating great service as well as
offering new potential for expanding the business relationship.
Strong profiling of key clients characterises typical products and
services that might apply to this genre of clients, providing
cross-selling opportunities. Smart firms use this information to develop
clients and enhance their own fees.
So, identify your ‘crown jewel’ clients, across the firm, and talk to
them about what they need and want and expect. Then you can be quite clear
about the hallmarks of your service excellence and introduce systems and
processes to ensure that they are consistently delivered. Raising the
barriers against client indifference and discovering how to attract future
We can help you set-up a key client management programme, to
assist in all aspects of:
- client profiling and mapping
- interviewing and reviewing feedback
- setting hallmark standards
- implementing processes and procedures that ensure
If you would like more information or advice please click here