Key Elements of Good Client Experience

Sheila Shaffie Blog

Simplicity, Visibility and Empowerment are three of the key elements impacting client experience.  Simplicity sits at the core.  Clients refer to it as “easy to do business with”.  Concepts of straight-through processing, frictionless processes, intuitive interface and real-time response rely on simplicity.  By definition, simplicity forces an organization to be focused on what is absolutely necessary to complete a client request.  It questions everything else that we do that adds minimal value but is needed due to poor process design: audit requirements, technology or talent limitations.  It is perhaps the most difficult element to achieve as it requires examination of business practices, identification of “clutter” and envisioning a future state.

Visibility will help maintain the trust that was built during the sales life cycle and re-enforce expectations.  Providing visual management tools to clients that explain the process, and provides status updates keeps the client engaged.  It also takes the burden off your talent to actively manage the process – receive incoming calls, escalate requests – removing opaqueness.

Empowerment is about choice which by turn means providing various methods and options for the client to interact with you – example: authenticate, pick the product, provide required data, set up billing, and authorize.  The industry buzz word is Omni-Channel.  The true essence of empowerment is allowing the client to do what they want to do, when they want to do it without necessarily involving anyone.  But Empowerment has a heavy reliance on simplicity – there is nothing more frustrating to a client that initiates an activity process but is unable to complete it because of inadequate system capabilities or poor process design.

Every industry will have additional elements that define client experience; in the financial services sector perhaps Protection (fiduciary responsibility, as well as personal data) is also critical, and in healthcare it maybe accuracy of drug formulation (the medication shouldn’t adversely impact anyone).  But at its very core for industries that are highly commoditized, with large transaction volumes – like brokerage, banking, & insurance – a clear strategy around simplification, visibility and empowerment will enhance client experience.