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Customer experience management – a sign of business maturity

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Today, strength of reputation is simply not enough to win and retain clients due to difficult market conditions, globalisation and increased competition. Professional services firms are beginning to adopt a more mature and dynamic application of the CRM concept – i.e. customer experience management (CEM).

So is CEM that much different from CRM? Actually, it’s not. CEM should be the driving force behind CRM. In short, it’s about “listening” to clients – I mean really really listening to understand what keeps them awake at night and assessing what expertise the firm has in-house and within its network of influence to help resolve those challenges for the client. It requires being mindful that what interests or is of value to one client, may not be relevant to the other. Also, listening includes addressing clients’ rational and business related concerns, but also being attentive to ‘softer’ concerns of customer contacts.

Building in a mechanism that contributes to continuous improvement in the value a professional services firm delivers to clients is critical to enhancing customer experience. CRM is the glue that brings together relationships, content, communications, processes, and service offerings – all of which contribute to delivering the best experience possible to clients. Essentially, for CEM to be a success, it must be the responsibility of every individual in a firm, and not simply the remit of the management board (although management board backing is also important for cultural change).

With the business and risk landscapes changing, it makes good business sense for firms to devise ways to build up the confidence and trust of their clients. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s not necessarily the high fees that customers resent; it’s the unresponsiveness of professional services organisations to their requirements that annoys them. Staying one step ahead of the client to help meet their forthcoming requirements, and ensuring that the client enjoys a trustworthy relationship with the organisation (as opposed to an individual) – all lend themselves to a proactive approach to CEM. It is a sign of business maturity. A number of our clients use Lexis® InterAction® as the vehicle to deliver this kind of experience to their clients as indeed do we at LexisNexis strive to deliver this experience too.

Read the related article as published in the Professional Marketing Magazine this month >>

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:

Fiona Jackson has spent over 15 years implementing and working with InterAction in professional services firms, including legal and accountancy. In these in-house roles, supported by InterAction, she managed marketing communications, devised and implemented business development strategies as well as trained and mentored fee earners. She worked closely with internal clients to understand their business processes end-to end and guided them in utilising the 'intelligence' gathered via InterAction to help them be successful at customer relationship management.

Fiona was previously a Client Advisor for five years at LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions; and was often described as "an extension to our business" by her clients. She has now returned to the company to drive an InterAction ‘repositioning’ project for a large London law firm. Fiona is also working with other firms to help them align CRM to wider business development strategies. She specialises in strategic and tactical CRM best practice, and as an expert in devising user adoption strategies, her experience in rolling out and repositioning InterAction as a business tool is proving invaluable to clients.

Fiona is mother to two teenagers, who keep her firmly on her toes. Living in Hertfordshire, she loves walking, is often found obsessing over the latest box set and enjoys all that country pubs have to offer. She also has a spectacular Gin collection of her own. Recently, Fiona has discovered a love for cooking – the varying degrees of success hasn’t stopped her from continuing to giving it a go!

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