Budget for a Great Client Experience


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If you read my book The Service Journey, you already know that my roots are not in customer service, but in accounting and finance.  I spent the first half of my career in very traditional accounting roles, working with general ledgers, cash management and budgets and analysis.  I can therefore empathize with the many of you who at this time of year are deeply embroiled in your company’s budgeting process for 2010.  No doubt you are budgeting for sales, the cost of your product or service, and administrative, marketing and advertising costs. 

You’ve no doubt estimated an attrition rate for your clients, and estimated the number of new clients that will start doing business with you as well.  What if you were able to provide the types of client experiences that reduced your client attrition rate by even one or two percent, however?  What if your clients loved your service so much they told their friends and neighbors about your services, thereby resulting in increased revenue?  What if, because your existing clients sold your services for you, you could reduce your advertising budget?  And what if your firm gave such great service that your conversion rate increased for existing clients and the calls in your customer service department decreased

Study after study shows companies who deliver great service are more profitable than their competition.  And when you think about it, this makes sense.  We all personally spend our money where we have good service experiences and get good value, don’t we?  The thing is, delivering consistently great service doesn’t just happen.  It takes a concerted effort, and requires an investment in aligning the organization, training your senior managers as well as front-line employees, measuring client loyalty, and defining and delivering the types of experiences that are going to amaze your clients. 

Take one last look at your budget before finalizing it and objectively determine if it reflects an organization that is planning to provide clients with a great client experience.  ‘Cause if you’re not planning and budgeting to provide a great client experience, what are you planning for? 


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