This blog will cover the history, evolution and simple approach about and on client service. As an advisor friendly trust company, we view client service as an evolution through successes and failures.
Customers do not want to hear about excellent client service. They just want to experience it. How can all companies naturally engage in the client service mindset?
Why Write about Client Service?
It is personal as a co-founder of a company. I want to share some background on this topic and give away our evergreen and simple client service mindset for anyone to use.
History of Client Service
Around 8,000 years ago, our ancestors started to gather into structured communities due to farming inventions. Communities mean the division of labor can begin. Larger communities provide more customer choices for various products and services offered. Over time, customers began to choose their product or service based on quality, price, and experience. So, client service started about 8,000 years ago.
“Client service is a company mindset, not a cheap tagline.”
Why Companies Are Created
To solve a customer problem and deliver a better, cheaper, and/or faster solution than the current competition or industry overall.
Evolution of a Company and Client Service
A person(s) get together to offer a product or service better, cheaper, and/or faster than the current competition.
They do everything. No task is beneath the founders, from making the product, delivering the service, faxing, stuffing envelopes, taking out the garbage, etc.
Hierarchy does not matter. All that matters - giving a customer experience second to none.
Success happens. Talented employees get hired. The founder’s delegate workflows and create hierarchies to deliver effective and efficient products/services. The product and/or service solution starts to lose its north star - client service slowly begins to erode—bit by bit.
Somehow, the founders’ primary mindset of client service that every single action or task, whether directly or indirectly touching a client, get whittled away. The creep of corporate and non-corporate attitudes become cemented. Hierarchies get entrenched. Hierarchies are divisive and remove all eyes focus on the only goal that matters - giving clients a never-ending evolution of better, faster and/or cheaper product or service. Fiefdoms get created. The worst part of human nature takes over the mentality of the company.
This can all be avoided.
"Think like a client and all decisions are common sense."
Common sense Client Service
We have avoided this hierarchical and fiefdom problem by taking three straightforward approaches:
- Every thought, every task, every project, every ounce of energy focuses on answering this question, “Am I doing something that will make our client service suck?”
Everyone thinks like this - mailroom, IT, HR, finance, marketing, receptionist, compliance, accounting, department heads, leadership team etc. It sounds easy but is very hard to consistently utilize. Humans are humans. It takes a village to keep everything focused on the customer experience. Great teams support each other.
- Every hire matters. If the candidate does not naturally fit into our culture and core values they will not get offered a position.
- Excellent client service is expensive. Harvard MBAs want to maximize the P/L. Companies who want to give a great consistent customer experience accept the P/L cannot be maximized. And that’s okay.
"If you never copy best practices, you'll have to repeat all the mistakes yourself.
If you only copy best practices, you'll always be one step behind the leaders." James Clear
Customers who experience the best client service never hear a whisper about it. It just happens like the rising sun.
It is a natural company mindset and not a cheap tagline used in marketing and branding events.