Recently, I took my car in for service. Afterwards, I was asked to complete a Client Satisfaction Survey. For any business, feedback with regard to how satisfied clients are with the experience is valuable. However, it is NOT the most important measure of client loyalty or likelihood that people will buy from you again.
The most important measure is Client Engagement.
Client Engagement is the degree to which clients are engaged with you not only to achieve what is important to them, but also to help you achieve success in your business.
The first principle of influence is reciprocity. You give and you get. Healthy relationships are those in which people are growing together.
The natural tendency in relationships is towards erosion of sensitivity and becoming inattentive. To maintain and grow relationships, we have to work at them. In turn, the people with whom we are in a relationship have to be invested.
In the art of negotiation, one of the first things negotiators learn is that you have to get the other person invested. The more people have invested, the harder it is to leave the table.
To foster client engagement, we have to work at it. In turn, we have to be involved with our clients in a manner where they too, are invested in the relationship.
Let me give you an example. Joel Goodhart is a successful financial advisor in Philadelphia whom I first started coaching in 2006. In our work with Joel and other clients, we stress the importance of creating experiences for clients that are memorable and foster client engagement.
In 2007, Joel and his partners hosted a Client Appreciation Event. Forty-two clients attended the dinner. Ten years later, Joel invited me to a Client Appreciation Event. There were over 700 people in attendance.
During the dinner, Joel acknowledged the firm’s Circle of Advocates, clients who introduced new clients to the firm. This is a way to foster client engagement by recognizing and honouring clients who are committed to helping the firm grow.
At the dinner, 47 people were recognized for introducing new clients. Then, Joel asked those who had been introduced as clients by the Circle of Advocates to stand up. Over 80 people stood up.
The people who become part of the Circle of Advocates are engaged in helping to grow the business.
Client Satisfaction is NOT the most important measure
When you develop and implement a strategy to foster client engagement, you invest time and energy in creating client capital. This not only deepens the relationship, but also leads to introductions, recommendations, and referrals to new clients.
To get feedback on the quality of your relationship with clients, utilize a Client Engagement Survey.
It is Client Engagement that is the measure of client loyalty. It leads to additional sales to clients and earning the right to be introduced to people they know who become clients.