A good business strategy strives to develop mutual respect between the client and your agency, without putting anyone’s interest ahead of each other. Rather, it works out a balance that is suitable to both parties.
Today, clients have more power than ever before! This is due to the sheer choice of products and services available, ability to give instant feedback, and rise of social media. If clients don’t like one service, they can easily opt for another. It is a fact that clients can make or break businesses.
The education and migration industry is no different. All professional agencies must understand that they need clients more than clients need them! Thus, it is only logical to build your agency business around the needs and preferences of clients. We have put together five powerful ways to build a client-centered business strategy that aligns with your agency’s value proposition:
Assess your client’s needs and preferences
A question often asked is “how well do you know your client?” Saying “well enough” may not be good enough! You need to look beyond your core business and understand the client’s full range of needs.
Map the client’s journey
The experience a client undergoes at your agency will reveal a lot about their needs and preferences. Make it a point to follow every client’s journey throughout the application process and take notes of their progress.
Focus on the present and future
Besides knowing what their current needs are, it is important to find out what clients want in the future. You can envision various future scenarios and then explore how market conditions may affect client preferences.
Be open to regular feedback
Whether it is good or bad, feedbacks help your business grow. Not every feedback may be useful, but it will give your agency an insight about the way clients are thinking. Make feedback forms available at all your agency touch points, online and offline.
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Client satisfaction must be your top priority
Client satisfaction should be an integral part of your agency’s overall philosophy. The attitude towards client issues and the way your employees perceive client satisfaction will make a big difference, when it comes to formulating an agency business strategy.
Define client satisfaction criteria in your business strategy
Making client satisfaction a top priority at your agency is good, but it must be measurable too. Set out clear criteria to define how a client feels about your service that aids to building better client relationship. For instance, in client surveys, find out whether they are satisfied or unsatisfied with your service or will recommend your agency to others, and so on.
Write a list of your agency’s core values
As part of your agency culture, you need to instill values among your employees that they will uphold at all times. Make a list that is clear, understandable, and easy to follow such as honesty, teamwork, empathy, respect, and so on.
Encourage active team participation
Your entire team must be motivated to work together, respond promptly to client queries and issues, and share ideas. You can host weekly or monthly meetings to brainstorm new ideas on improving client satisfaction.
Create awareness within your agency
To create a client-centered culture at your agency, you need to raise awareness about it. Many employees tend to take such things for granted, if you don’t make it a part of your agency’s daily routine or train them regularly.
Think of the office ambience
First, think about the kind of ambience that you wish to have in the office. Start by collecting motivational quotes and pictures or design posters that state your agency’s core values.
Make it highly visible
Hang the posters, pictures, and motivational quotes about client satisfaction on your office walls. You can even create desktop wallpapers for the computers, with your agency’s core values printed on them.
Practice with role plays
Fun to do and a great way to learn, use role-plays to practice what you preach. Get your team together on a regular basis and try to mimic real conversations that you might have with clients. You can even video record these sessions for further improvements in the future.
Reward your employees for good service
To become a client centric agency, every aspect of your business should align with the sole purpose of creating a perfect client experience. For this, you need a motivated team that receives good incentives and performance benefits.
Set performance benchmarks
Incentivizing employees for good work can yield amazing results for your agency, but the process must be measurable and accurate. Otherwise, it can cause unnecessary disputes, as to who is eligible and who is not. You can use these criteria:
- Productivity: You can measure this by allocating how many leads your employee can convert into clients.
- Efficiency: Your agency can measure this by how quickly the employee converts leads, combined with positive feedback from clients.
- Goals: Set individual goals for your employees with their collaboration. For instance, goals could be achieving 10 successful applications in a year or receiving five positive feedbacks from clients every three months.
Go the extra mile
Smart companies achieve this by linking employee growth and incentives with client satisfaction. You should reward agency employees, who take that extra step in achieving their goals or resolving client issues satisfactorily.
Train your agency staff regularly
Effective coaching and mentoring at many agencies is often limited to the first few days or weeks on the job. Instead, make training a part of your agency business strategy. It will help the staff acquire the skills necessarily to meet client needs.
Practice makes perfect
Regular trainings are not only good practice but also instill confidence among your agency staff. While interacting with clients, they will instantly recall what to say when and what to do.
Keep up with industry trends
The trends in the education and migration industry tend to change quite frequently. Regular trainings are a good way to update your staff about these trends and changes.
Add skills and knowledge
As industry scenarios keep changing, it becomes essential to acquire new skills and knowledge accordingly. Train your agency staff to find new and improved ways to deal with clients and satisfy their needs.
While planning your client-centered business strategy, do remember that it will only work when your team is motivated. You can inspire them with monetary incentives, but that is not the only way to motivate staff. It could be in the form of office retreats, weekend getaways, and timely job promotions, among others.