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 offer?
  • Corporate hospitality and entertaining - what differentiates yours?

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 established clients

Competitive gold standard service

Identifying 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:

Productive relationships: 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.
Dynamic support: Client-led firms define their service criteria: response times, business team awareness and urgency are all internally measurable and externally discernible. 
Value delivery: Evidence of particular efforts and consideration are clearly indicated so clients remain aware that they are not being issued standard output.
Commercial awareness:

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 key clients.

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 consistency

 If you would like more information or advice please click here

 

 

 
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