Creating a Signature Client Experience

“Be central, be selfless”  were the words stated by one client in recent weeks when discussing how to build an effective client experience for C-level executives.   The four words – be central, be selfless – are very powerful when considered together.  These four words forced us to reconsider everything, because at their core they mandated a combullseye2pletely different model that was going to be difficult to enable for two reasons:

  • The client must be at your center.  For you to be central to your client’s needs they have to be central to yours and that is tough for any organization to deliver.  Organizationally it is just difficult to do because it requires companies to completely reorganize their structures, values, incentives to reward something beyond product sales.
  • Selflessness and selling don’t coexist well.  At the end of the day all companies are trying to make money.  While at a macro level we can say that being selfless will be rewarded by a deeper relationship, which will be rewarded by sales… most businesses operate on a 90 day cycle and selling has to come through to achieve financial goals.

Yet being central and selfless remains a very aspirational goal.  Given that many organizations are trying to achieve this goal here are three simple steps that we used to get our client started:

  1. Start at the top.  Changing how your organization thinks about clients and client experience requires CEO buy in.  We’ve tried it with other levels of the company and it will eventually fail.  This must be a commitment from the top, because putting the client at the center will impact your organizational structure, incentive structures, even product and solution packaging.  Success will be limited if the CEO is not only bought in, but championing this effort.
  2. Listen to and share stories.  A lot of businesses that put their clients at the center have developed a culture that rewards listening to and retelling client stories.  Over time these businesses become a part of the shared value in their clients’ stories.
  3. Incent for client success.  Incentives that align to silo’d sales do not reward a client-centric behavior.  Shift the incentives to reward placing the client at the center and creating success for that client.

 

Related Stories

Client Experience: Building a C-Suite Approach

Posted on 03.22.2020 by in Understanding the C-Suite

Establishing a client experience strategy is an area of significant focus for many business-to-business (B2B) companies.  As customers, we are all demanding more and more of the businesses with which we engage in our daily lives; it is not surprising  

Continue Reading »

The Value of Convening C-Suite Peers: Reaping What You Sow

Posted on 02.1.2020 by in Engagement Strategy, Featured, Featured, Understanding the C-Suite

In our work with Customer Advisory Boards and other executive engagement programs, we have seen firsthand the extent to which C-level executives seek and crave connection to real peers, where they can share stories and gain insights in a safe  

Continue Reading »

The Next Frontier…Understanding Your Customers’ Customers

Posted on 11.1.2019 by in Engagement Strategy, Understanding the C-Suite

So you think you’ve nailed it.  You are a B2B marketer who spends 25%-30% of your time with customers; you collect insights across a range of customer communication channels; and you analyze and integrate what you learn into the other  

Continue Reading »

Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset

Posted on 12.3.2018 by in Engagement Strategy

Many marketers are stuck in an activity mindset, focused more on the event calendar and the client reference database than strategic conversations with customers. In contrast, an engagement mindset creates a strategy focused from the outside-in rather than from the  

Continue Reading »


Customer Advisory Boards

Customer Advisory Boards are powerful engines of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

Meeting Facilitation: Virtual and In-Person Boards » Taking Your Customer Advisory Board Meetings Virtual »

Learn More »

Engagement Strategy

Like any good relationship, customer engagement is a long-term, reciprocal effort. When done well, meaningful engagement leads to better business results, faster.

Engage Your Customers to Help You Stop Pitching » Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset »

Learn More »

Understanding the C-Suite

Building C-level programs that are meaningful and bring value to you as well as to your c-suite customers is challenging. Veiled sales pitches won’t win the day with this audience. Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

Building a C-Suite Client Experience Strategy » Do you Know What Your Customers Value? »

Learn More »