You provide an Exceptional Client Experience (ECE), right? Who doesn’t strive for that as it leads to retention, growth, and advocacy? But do you know what makes your ECE uniquely yours?
When I first started at Red Caffeine, I was thrilled when Kathy Steele, Red Caffeine’s President, walked me through the 5-year plan and shared the company’s strategic pillars. I came on board to help lead the Exceptional Client Experience pillar but quickly realized that this initiative hadn’t truly been defined. The prior definition included terms like “process documentation”, “tools” and “client retention”, but nothing explained what an ECE looks and feels like when you work with Red Caffeine.
Now, our ECE speaks to the areas clients feel most value from our relationship. Our ECE promises to deliver thought leadership + honest consultation + make you a marketing superhero + work done right + transparency + results. If you already work with us, I know you can see and hear Red Caffeine Vice President Julie Poulos proclaiming the result, “Partnership in Perpetuity!”
Before you can dive into the nitty-gritty of what an ECE means to your clients and company, you should understand why defining your ECE is important.
1. Sets expectations for what it’s like to work with you
Why can clients count on you? What are you focused on delivering? Your ECE sets the tone for what you believe is important to deliver the best possible product and to build the best possible relationship with your company. It showcases your expertise and where you stand out. Not all ECE definitions need to be external facing, but we find it works for us. When meeting with prospects, our VP Julie Poulos speaks to our ECE graphic as it clearly highlights our commitment, and many of our Account Managers use it in Client Quarterly Business Reviews to spark a conversation around the partnership.
2. Provides internal alignment
A clearly defined ECE can help focus and align your team. These are the principles you deem important to keeping clients happy. Doesn’t everyone want to keep their clients happy? We have also found the team feels empowered by the clarity—they know the expectation so they push themselves to be better in these areas and put forth their best work. As players of the Great Game of Business (GGOB), we’ve even done mini-games around a few of the principles which incentivized and gamified behaviors to ensure we’re keeping the ECE commitment top of mind.
3. Gives your clients something to measure you against
Clearly defining what you’re striving to provide makes it easier for clients to give you feedback. We are gearing up for Year 2 of our Client Satisfaction Survey, and we will for sure be checking in on how we’re doing across our 6 ECE Principles. The results help us see which of the areas our team might need more training in or focus on, as well as where we’re killing it and we should keep up the great work.
As I mentioned earlier, not all ECE definitions need to be external facing. But, one additional benefit we found in sharing your ECE is being able to turn the tables on your clients. You can not only share what people can expect from you, but have a conversation around what you expect from your clients in return. Stay tuned for my next blog that will dive further into this perspective.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. How do you define your Exceptional Client Experience? Is it external or internal facing? Send me an email at email@example.com.
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