What a unique answer for a unique year we have had going into 2021. Client experience is paramount. With all the issues we have been dealing with, communication, clarity and client experience is the way to win and should be thought of through every step of the planning process. For example, is my phone number clearly listed on my website? Does the gatekeeper, people or person answering the phone have the skills and acumen to deliver high client experience and some level of helpful knowledge for the person calling? Are you able to form communication protocols that fit the comfort level of your clients? Are you set up to do video calls instantly or scheduled? Phone calls back? Chat through a website? Texting and other messaging protocols are used more and more these days and different clients have different comfort levels and technology to communicate through those protocols.
After client experience, it is demonstrating that you are vibrant, relevant, and thriving as best as possible in the current business environments navigating the various restrictions we have been dealing with. Clients need to know that you are there for them. That the people that they used to work with are still there. If not, who is their replacement?
The third strategy is to gain market share. Give the unfortunate truth that not everyone is faring well during these business restrictive days, there is an opportunity to gain and expand market share in your area of expertise. For example, some digital advertising has become more expensive and some digital advertising is very inexpensive because some players may have dropped out. But you need to research to know whether it is because some niche marketplaces are highly competitive going after a small pool of clients. For example, luxury car brands are offering huge savings and financing offers. Travel deals abound, if you are willing to travel, and hotel deals abound because of all the availability. But other areas of business have higher prices due to limited and disrupted supply chains effecting end user deliverability. In other words, you might want something but cannot get it.
In professional services, you are the expert demonstrating subject matter expertise and industry leadership. You may have heard content is king, but in this climate GOOD content is king. People do not have time to read through mass amounts of content to find what is useful. This is what will set you apart from the crowd in your space. People want to work with the best and the best lead. So, you need to be leading in your brand, in your digital brand, in your content across all channels – website, social platforms where appropriate, publications, online, and perhaps some in print – showing thought leadership and subject expertise.
And last but certainly not least is client retention and talent retention. It’s important to look outside and inside your company to make sure you have strategies to retain your current clients, but also improving your culture and communicating with your team members in more and better ways to retain your talent. Communication can help solve both. Frequent communications. Valuable communications. Communication that honors the individual. Communication that offers some level of transparency that’s appropriate so that trust can be continued.
We can grow businesses and livelihoods in 2021, if we will honor people and work hard. Fight the right battles. And not give up.
Answer provided by Adam Smith, Owner of Sound Press, a digital growth agency