Tikit: Brand strength

Your firm’s brand is essential. By ‘brand’ I don’t simply mean the colour of your logo, or the wording of your website, I mean the whole brand experience. This encompasses aspects such as initial perceptions, images, feelings of trust, attitudes staff demonstrate to their services, the overall experiences and so on. With more decisions than ever before being influenced by, or made, online, it’s necessary to make technology and process the backdrop to your overarching customer journey and satisfaction, or rather your ‘brand’.

Take client relationship management (CRM) as a starting point for the experience clients and potential clients have of a brand. How many times have you received a marketing email that is irrelevant to you? How many times have you hovered over said email, clicked and moved it to the bin? Every time you delete an irrelevant email like this, you’re experiencing a lack of satisfaction with the brand that sent it to you, and eroding their value. This is the same scenario your clients will experience every time you send them a marketing communication that is irrelevant to them.

So how do you solve this challenge? Having good data, which is well managed and well used, streamlines customer experiences. But this all has to start with effective data entry. System usability is key here, and so is having a single point of data entry. There is no sense in using separate databases for your firm’s fee earners and marketing data. It should all feed into the same system to ensure clean and accurate data. This yields better business development efforts but crucially results in a better customer experience. Consider allocating time, resource and budget to the following areas, which are key to your overall strategy and objectives: data collection and management, and data analysis and reporting.

The process of onboarding new clients differs depending on your own individual business, but the essence is the same. Of course, you’ll be updating your PMS and complying with legal regulation and whatever else, but that’s not going to make the customer think you’re the best choice. You’ve also got to build a relationship, and get to know the customer’s individual needs.

Perhaps also introduce digital signatures to speed up client signing processes, or look at alternative communication methods that are going to help you deliver real-time updates, or look at ways that you can provide more transparency and collaborate better on documents. Whatever your brand promise – whether you are about speed, efficiency, cost or something else entirely – ensure you invest in the right technology to help you deliver on that brand promise and supply a service in line with your client’s expectations, or better.

If you’re looking at strengthening your firm’s brand, the best advice is to place technology at the heart of client experience in the following ways:

• Take the time to understand where your data is stored and use it to give your clients what they want. My recommendation: have a single data source within your PMS database to ensure clean data at all times.
• Joined up integrated systems. In order to deliver the best possible customer experience, integrated technology that provides a clear journey for the client from the beginning of their transaction to the end is essential.
• Talk to your supplier. A good PMS vendor will be able to advise you on how best to approach planning a great customer experience and what technology is available to you.

The modern brand is customer-centric and is about delivering an experience that leaves the customer satisfied at every stage of their transaction. Technology should be at the heart of this journey.

This article appeared in LPM November 2018 - Boxing clever

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