More metrics are focused on customer experience than ever before. But if your overall marketing strategy isn’t designed around “customer experience” yet, you may have questions about how to get started.
Many experts have weighed in on the importance of customer experience in modern business. In this article, we’ll refer to a few published by Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and Hubspot to better explain what it is and why it’s important.
We’ll explain what Klient has to offer to help your company deliver a positive experience for customers.
What Is Customer Experience?
Martin Zwilling of Forbes explains that while it used to be enough to focus on quality, value, and customer service, that isn’t the case anymore.
Today, the internet has turned the customer-company relationship into more of a relationship than ever before.
When organizations focus on individual touchpoints, they can falsely inflate their sense of a customer’s happiness. Instead, you need a comprehensive picture of the entire journey customers go through with your company.
So, if a series of individual touchpoints is not an accurate picture of customer experience, what is?
Hubspot’s Jason Bordeaux defines customer experience as “the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey.”
It involves many touchpoints, particularly between customers and your people or your product. But addressing one or two problematic touchpoints is not going to improve the customer’s overall impression of your business.
Why Is Customer Experience So Important?
The internet has changed the way companies interact with their customers in multiple ways.
There are more competitors available, and switching between them is easier since it can often be done with just a few clicks.
Customers also share their experiences publicly with friends, family, and any others through social media.
If a customer has a bad overall experience with your company, they can find another provider, switch to them easily, and then tell everyone they know online why they left you.
And they do.
Improving Customer Experience With Professional Services Automation
Delivering a consistently positive customer experience starts with having an easily accessible database of customer data.
Klient’s PSA software is intrinsically adept at capturing many types of information and bringing it together in novel ways. That includes information related to:
- Calendar management
- Document management
- Expense tracking
- Project management
- Resource management.
It’s also built on Salesforce Lightning, giving your employees the best user experience possible to encourage adoption through ease of use.
Having one centralized system to manage all of these touchpoints sets up your organization to improve customer experience in four key areas:
1. At the Sales Stage
Services will have better planning and forecasting abilities with Sales pipeline visibility. This allows the two departments to work hand in hand as prospects become customers. It also creates better services opportunities via forecasting and opportunities management.
2. During Project Execution
Service managers can use that visibility into the Sales Pipeline to better manage resources for the right project at the right time.
3. At the Expansion Stage
Klient’s PSA system also supports repeat and recurring billing, allowing for seamless repeat transactions.
4. Promoting Retention and Advocacy
The system also uses built-in customer surveys and a customer health check. That way, everyone stays aware of the customer’s account status. Tracking the customer journey has never been easier.
Shifting your organization’s focus to customer experience might seem like a hefty task.
Or, if you’re already working toward a great customer experience, you may need an additional tool to push the customer journey over the top.
With the right PSA system, employees will have an easier time handling prospects and customers. Leadership, too, will have easier access to the information they need.
This helps your organization deliver a single, memorable experience that makes customers happy — and keeps them that way.
If you’re building a service-centric business, delivery to your clients is at the core of what you do.
It isn’t just about product inventory or what object you can create — you’re providing a service, one you hope customers feel they can’t get anywhere else.
To keep your clients happy and coming back for more, one of the best ways to increase revenue and reduce costs is to implement a Professional Services Automation system. (We’ve previously written about SPI Research’s study showing PSA services dramatically increase results — check that out here.)
If you need a few more reasons to consider implementing a robust PSA system in your organization, here are a few ways the right PSA can improve what your customers receive and how your employees deliver it.
1. Increased Utilization
Growing your service business is easier when utilization of internal systems improves. When your company adopts an end-to-end PSA system, teams across the entire business will have easy access to a tool that helps them track and manage their portion of delivery. Modern PSA solutions include improvements to target utilization thresholds, intuitive time-off calculations, and reporting by project, practice, region, and role.
A system exists for a reason, and adherence to it will ensure your internal teams are working at full capacity while giving leadership a better picture of what goes on for each customer’s service delivery.
2. Better Sales Projections
The more your organization uses a PSA system, the more information your leaders will have to plan for where your organization is heading. A service organization can implement a PSA solution that envelops the following facets of the business:
- Calendar management
- Document management
- Expense tracking
- Project management
- Resource management
When leadership has full visibility to all of those functions from one convenient system, projections and planning become much simpler to forecast.
3. Higher Productivity (and Billable Hours)
There are a few ways a service organization can grow billable hours with the implementation of a PSA solution. For one, employee time spent tracking projects and hours can become simpler when using PSA — so they have more time to actually spend delivering on projects. More time spent on projects means more billable hours. For another, communication about each project becomes simpler when various departments across the organization are all tapped into one central system. Communication is easier, and less back and forth needs to be done since each department has direct access to customer information. This reduces the need for questions in the first place and allows each team to get right to work. Finally, visibility increases across the organization for each customer’s projects. If there is a problem, firefighting becomes much more pinpointed. Bottlenecks become apparent when each project is visible across all departments, saving time and resources to get it back on track.
You want your teams to spend their time working on services for which you can bill your customers — make resolving issues as simple as possible.
4. Better Win Rates and Happier Customer Conversions
The visibility and access inherent with a PSA solution can also contribute to the success of your sales team. Krow Software is built natively on Salesforce, giving your sales team a host of advantages that comes from the end-to-end integration of PSA. Leadership will be able to pinpoint which services are most profitable (and therefore be able to target which services should be sold). And, salespeople will have greater visibility into prior customer successes, contributing to a greater understanding of what makes your organization’s services great. This will give them the ability to more accurately sell your services, setting better customer expectations and positioning the prospect-to-customer transition for success.
Your prospects will then be able to transition seamlessly to customers without the gaps that are present when using multiple software systems.
5. Happier Employees
When a system is easy to use, the end users benefit. In a service organization that’s utilizing a PSA system, the end users who benefit are your employees. Rather than siloing each department into their own software or project management system, having one centralized automation system for tracking prospects, conversions, customer projects, and even accounting makes the job of each of your employees that much simpler. When employees are happier, your organization becomes a better place to work, giving recruits and applicants even more reason to want to work for your company. This can lead to faster, higher-quality growth as your organization expands its human resources to meet increased customer loads and expanding service offerings.
Everyone wins when PSA is implemented well, including the organization.
Growing your service business can be accomplished in various ways, but you can take a huge leap forward by adding a PSA solution to help you manage your organization from the inside out.
Get more information about the #1 PSA for fast-growing companies here.
Our customers have spoken! They love Klient PSA!
We are very honored to have been rated the top vendor in customer satisfaction and recognized as a high performer in the latest G2 Grid for Professional Services Automation Software.
G2 is the world’s leading business software review platform, leveraging its 100,000+ user reviews read by nearly 700,000 software buyers each month to help them make better purchasing decisions. By bringing the collective power of trusted peers to the forefront, business buyers now have transparency when evaluating B2B software technologies.
Klient helps companies transform service delivery and client success with our next-generation Project & Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution built 100% native on the industry’s leading cloud platform from Salesforce, delivering a 10x faster deployment than traditional solutions.
To view what our customers had to say about Klient, check out Klient on G2 reviews.
Does your Company love to celebrate new clients?
Of course, any sales win is worth a celebration! But in the world of professional services, signing the contract is only the first step.
The goal in services is always to gain customers who purchase your services again and again. That’s why the experience you provide is so critical. Wow them from the start and they’ll be much more likely to buy again later and recommend you to others.
Basic Questions for After the Sale
When you sign up a new client or customer, there are a series of questions you’ll need to answer with them:
- What—exactly—is supposed to happen?
- Who’s supposed to do what?
- When are they supposed to be where?
- Is everyone on the same page?
Once these items are set, you have the foundation for a smooth onboarding process.
Keep Changes to a Minimum
Beware the biggest disruption to the customer experience: change. Changing times, changing schedules, changing staff. There are also changes to flights, hotel rooms, teaching modules, and a hundred other details. All these are major causes of stress—both for your clients and for your staff. Often, managing a client onboarding process can be quite a stressful time for a business leader in itself. However, a good onboarding process will help you minimize these frustrating changes. But after the Sale, what should happen next?
Here are 5 strategies you can use to impress new customers, without stressing out your employees in the process:
1. Confirm All Details
The first thing is to ensure everyone knows what’s supposed to happen, on what dates, and at what locations. It sounds simple, but we’ve all had situations where we’ve shown up at the wrong time because we neglected this step. That’s never a good feeling. You might even assign one person from your staff to be responsible for working out schedules with the client. Once everything is set, have that person send the client an email and calendar invitations with confirmations of all appointments, dates, and times.
If you’re delivering your service remotely, don’t forget to include any private webinar links or shared documents as soon as you can.
2. Reconfirm the Appointment
As you get close to the date of the service, reconfirm the dates and times with the client, just to make sure nothing’s changed. This will help prevent last-minute changes, and it makes your organization look professional.
Confirming details can be the job of the sales team, the service delivery team, or an administrative staffer.
3. Deliver a Consistent Experience
New clients will interact with multiple members of your team as they receive the service they purchased from you.
Every time they talk with someone from your organization, they should get the same, consistent, positive experience.
4. Be Transparent Internally and Externally
The best way to help employees deliver a great experience is to ensure everyone is working from the same information. Your service delivery team will be able to provide better services if they can see what sales reps are doing in their CRM system.
Giving everyone access to the same data means everyone can be transparent with clients and potential customers. And that’s true no matter who takes the call or receives the email.
5. Make Use of Good Technology
Finally, using Professional Services Automation software (PSA software) will enable all your employees to see “the whole picture” for each client and prospect in your system. Sales staff will be able to see who’s going to deliver the service and when. Your service delivery teams will be able to review all notes from the sales process with a new client.
Your administrative team will be able to keep track of it all!
Having a consistent process you follow with new clients makes everyone’s job easier, and it results in a better, more consistent experience for the customer.
As we stated in the introduction, the goal is always to create repeat buyers, not just one-time buyers. Wowing customers right from the start is a great way to help make that happen.