Knowing the Firm's Most Loyal Clients
Another indicator of a Client-facing firm is when the majority of employees know which Clients are the biggest advocates of the firm through their willingness to talk about and refer to the firm with colleagues and friends.
Publish Your Client Successes
It is considered good practice to continually raise awareness of the firm's star Clients, interesting stories, recent big wins and so on. Many firms are even happy to publicise their successes with the Client's agreement through press releases and articles to the media, demonstrating more evidence of Client-centricity.
TEN REQUIREMENTS FOR A CLIENT-ORIENTED FIRM
If you believe that your firm is still some way from being fully Client oriented, you might find these useful in changing the current position to one of higher Client focus.
• Cultivate a close contact with the Client.
• Strive to be in a position of trust in relation to the Client's needs, expectations and wishes.
• Check the satisfaction of your Client with your services on a regular basis.
• Concentrate on all areas of performance in which you can add value for the Client.
• Consider your Client in your decision making, in theme groups, meetings, planning and even in internal business considerations.
• Require from all Client-facing employees that they meet their Clients at least annually.
• Adapt to and, if necessary, structure your firm's processes around the needs and perceptions of your Clients.
• Structure your organisation according to the market.
• Develop a Client Recovery Strategy and use it when Clients are dissatisfied.
• You should only hire and encourage Client-friendly employees.
Client Orientation is Essential
Orientation has shown that many of today's professional services firms have an opportunity to reap the benefits of having more focus on Clients; however, some are still paying lip service to the approach, as evidenced by the recent Client Care Survey. They put other things first. There is enough evidence out there in the market to validate the benefits of Client orientation. The challenge is there to align strategy and Clients, but this requires sensitive planning and strong leadership. Those firms with the highest Client satisfaction ratings are more likely to be the most successful, achieving profitable Client relationships in a highly competitive arena. The signal will come from Clients who recognise and say that 'Client-orientation is part of that firm's DNA'.
Developing a Culture of Client Orientation
CLIENT MANAGEMENT REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How Client-centric would you rate your firm?
2. How easily can you access total income, split by practice area, from a Client?
3. How easily can you access the names of the firm's top 10 Clients (by income/sector/revenue/growth potential)?
4. How engaged are your employees?
5. How well do you know your Clients' expectations?
6. How Client-friendly are your processes that interact with Clients?
7. How much is Client-centricity part of your firm's DNA?
8. How much does Client service feature in the firms' values?
9. How Client-related are your objectives?
10. How much do your KPIs relate to performance with Clients?
11. How often are Client matters discussed at board level?
12. How often do you meet with your Clients?
These questions also form the basis of the Orientation section of the Client Management Profile™, which can be found in Chapter 15.
Client Management Model™
-  Adapted from Haines & McCoy, Sustaining High Performance. The Strategic Transformation of a Customer-Focused Learning Organization, 1995.