Posts Tagged ‘service differentiation’

Developing Effective Client Priority Lists

Photo Aug 28, 4 42 35 PMIt’s often quoted that 80% of revenues originate from 20% or less of clients. To focus on these clients, It’s common practice in most businesses to create lists of top accounts to establish which accounts are most important and designate different service models for these clients. These accounts should get elevated service relative to other accounts, including preferred pricing, priority access to services, coverage by the most experienced team members, and more intense engagement by senior management.

It’s not as simple as creating a simple list of top clients and sending it out to sales and service teams. There are many things that need to happen in order to ensure that there is a meaningful change in behavior regarding these clients and that the client’s themselves understand their status.[more…]

Defining the List

The first step in creating a list of priority clients is to define the purpose of the list. Although this might seem self-evident, many firms find that the less clear the objectives of the list, the bigger and more convoluted it becomes. Is the list’s purpose to identify the largest revenue-generating accounts and insure that service remains high to protect these revenues; or is it to identify largest unrealized wallet opportunities; or is it to identify accounts in later stages of a sales pipeline with high probability of conversion? Probably the most common mistake that we see are lists that intermingle cash-cow accounts and opportunity accounts with little differentiation in service defined.

Service Differentiation

Once the purpose is set, then a model has to be put in place to define a differentiated level of service for priority clients. I can’t stress enough the importance of this step. A lot of managers just assume that an “increased intensity” will be provided to accounts on the list, but the teams in the front lines are often unclear on what’s expected of them. Each client-facing team’s tasks need to be clearly defined, not just for priority accounts but also for non-priority accounts in order to establish the difference. The differences in behavior are what make priority list meaningful.

Examples of service differentiators:

  • More resources/more content

  • Preferential pricing / offers

  • Premium access / higher touch service / bespoke resources

  • Priority level of engagement/ timing of engagement (first call status)

  • Senior relationship management / higher experience coverage

  • Further resources/analysis to better understand the account (Internal)

Client Communication

It’s important that clients are made aware of their priority status to the extent that is practical, and doesn’t jeopardize the relationship or relationships with other clients. Clients are very willing to engage with certain counterparties as strategic partners because they feel the value generated through a deeper relationships can be mutually beneficial. I’ll write more on this in a future post.

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