- On June 21, 2023
- by: Rick Topping
- 5 minutes Read
In our digital world, the client experience is more than just a buzzword. It’s a critical factor in the success of your professional service firm. That’s because when clients have a positive experience, it fosters loyalty, leading to business growth.
The big question is, how can you create or enhance your client experience?
As you face challenges like employee retention, pressure to exceed client expectations, and more competition, it can feel like a never-ending battle to reshape your client experience. In this article, we’ll explore what you might be missing in your client experience with anecdotes from our interviews of real Pittsburgh leaders, and three steps to start your transformation today.
Get ready for some exciting insights and practical tips to take your client experience to the next level!
3 Steps to Create a Modern Digital Client Experience
To start upgrading your client experience, often the biggest impact comes from investments in technology. But before you start shopping for tech, let’s talk about what steps you can take to inform your decision.
1. Understand Your Clients’ Needs and Preferences
Before you buy new tech, begin with understanding of what your clients really want in their digital experience by gathering their feedback. For large-scale projects, you may want to survey hundreds, or even thousands, of potential clients to gain credible insight.
The amount of interviews depends on the size of your business and the size of your digital experience transformation efforts. Once you’ve gathered the data, it’s time to take a hard look at your current client-facing tools and identify opportunities for improvement.
“About two years ago, we started a customer experience effort. We started to make it a huge focus of our organization and we looked at that in three ways. One was technology, one was communications, and one was engagement, which is more of the back and forth of interacting with clients. With technology, it was really about asking: ‘How do we put ourselves in the shoes of the customer and create an experience using technology that can make their lives easier?’”
-Jennifer Wilhem, Chief Operating Officer at the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Ask yourself this: “Is our communication, document management, and project management tools meeting all of our client needs?”
For example, maybe your current document management tool doesn’t connect to other software, so your team has to email items back and forth. We’ve seen that before in many businesses – and one of our quick solutions is to add in a holistic communication platform, like Microsoft Teams.
2. Modernize or Invest in Client-Facing Technologies
With your technology priorities determined, it’s time to make the chance. We’ve seen businesses everywhere adapting new technology to keep up with their competitors.
As a professional service firm, there are plenty of opportunities to provide an exceptional client experience with tech. Your employees might just be missing the tools they need to work faster and easier. When they have the right technology and support, they can deliver remarkable service that sets your professional service firm apart.
“Our current plan is to do a big upgrade to our core ERP… We have to be willing to change. You can never be ahead of the curve.”
-Scott Langill, at Bridgeway Capital
Among a study of 2,010 U.S. businesses, 69% of employees said that automation would give them more time to carry out their primary work. This means modern technology could help your professional service firm better serve your clients.
Tip: Consider Microsoft Viva, an innovative tool that works with Microsoft 365 to revolutionize employee engagement. It’s a centralized employee engagement hub that brings learning, insights on work patterns, knowledge discovery, and more.
3. Provide Internal Training to Support Your New Digital Client Experience
After you’ve invested in new technology to support your clients' experience, it’s vital to spend the time and resources to provide thorough training for your employees. They are the ones who will interact with your clients and use the new or upgraded technology every day.
Make sure there is a plan going forward to train them and have support channels they can reach out to. During this training, you can also ask them how they prefer to use the platform and identify if they are missing out on any useful functionalities. For example, if you create a new client portal experience, your employees need to know how to administer access to the system, as well as how to handle calls asking for navigational help. Create a simple guide for the employees to reference in your company landing page.
Unfortunately, employees can be resistant to adopting new technologies or struggle with internal transformation. This is a problem that begins in leadership, and we’ve seen this with a few Pittsburgh businesses.
For example, one of our clients wanted to migrate from Google Apps to Microsoft 365. We trained the whole team and walked them through their new digital employee experience multiple times. However, due to a lack of communication, leadership missed telling their staff what we were doing and how our team was making a new experience.
The project represented a large shift in how people complete their daily work. A massive change like this needed more communication from leadership. Once we filled in the communication gap, the project was a major success and the company was in a better position to serve its clients.
To avoid an initial setback like this, businesses need to appoint the right person with the right tools to lead tech change management projects. After your staff is trained and ready to go, your client satisfaction will rise even higher from their empowerment.
A Modern Digital Client Experience is Vital for Growth in Professional Service Firms
Remember that a good digital experience is rooted in modern technology. By prioritizing the technology that your clients want to use, investing it in, and training your employees, professional service firms can foster long-term client relationships.
But not every professional service firm has internal IT experts with the bandwidth to take on such a transformation. That’s why partnering with a managed IT services provider can help you create a modern digital client experience while you focus on other high-value initiatives.
With a trusted Pittsburgh IT partner like Ceeva, your new digital experience could also involve:
- Emphasis on client data security
- Focus on maintaining compliance needs
- Software integrations for client-unique technology
- Client data storage options
- Ongoing support & maintenance needs for new technology
- Simplified forms for intake of information and less paper
- An online file collaboration repository
There is a reason why 94% of Pittsburgh businesses continually renew our services. Learn how we can help transform your client experience today!
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