This Spring, Acuity had the pleasure of attending Guru’s first ever Empower conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a conference geared toward client-facing teams across industries, with a focus in technology services. Acuity has made a goal to invest more in customer relationships. We understand that building long-lasting and secure relationships with our clients is extremely important—especially in our industry. We want to make sure our client facing teams are equipped with the knowledge and experience to do so to the fullest.
This conference featured some amazing speakers, all of which were well-versed in leading teams and consulting other firms about how to best manage client relations. We were excited to be among high-energy, passionate, and empowered individuals who have dedicated their careers to enhancing the customer experience through intentional and strategic relationship-building.
There were a lot of takeaways, many of which made us feel empowered as a client-serving organization. We would be remiss if we didn’t pass this valuable information along. Here are a few key ideas that we will continue to use in our practice, and we hope that this information can help other firms as well:
Understand your company’s purpose:
When Acuity first started, our goal was simple: to be an ideal financial partner to companies so they may focus on growing and scaling their businesses. Over the years, while our primary objective is still the same, we learned that we also want to be an ally. We want to be the company that can be trusted with the most sensitive and delicate part of a business—the financials. To be this ally, we had to realign our focus and put more emphasis on building trust and deepening our connections with our clients. We had to get a little closer to our clients to understand their love language. What makes them happy? What could we do as a company to build a community and let each of our clients know that we are here for them?
On this journey, we had to dig deep to ensure the message we are putting out reflects our core values. Our focus was to communicate our purpose to our customers effectively. Speaker Wendi Sturgis, Chief Customer Officer at Yext said it best: “Knowing your teams’ purpose will help drive desired results.” Once we were able to identify our purpose truly, we were able to gauge how to best serve our clients in ways that best align with their goals.
Tackle risk along the way and anticipate needs:
In the panel segment titled “Customer Facing Team Collaboration: How World Class Product Launches Happen,” a group of talented Customer Facing Leaders discussed transparency in change and how a firm’s ability to anticipate needs during that transition is a crucial element of change management.
We are continually working to solve and anticipate the needs of our clients. As the industry changes, we understand we have to be fluid enough to change with it. This usually involves taking paths less traveled and being innovators in our industry to the benefit of our clients. Although stepping out involves risk, we do our best to manage the risk along the way. We also have to incorporate effective change management strategies and remind ourselves why we are making the necessary adjustments.
Get feedback early:
As we grow and evolve, we understand that our clients are doing the same. It’s essential for us to remain informed about the state of our customers’ satisfaction to make sure we are on top of our game. Having open, candid discussions about how we are doing and being open to criticism is one of the best things we can do for our clients. Anne Raimondi, Chief Customer Officer at Guru, drove this point home for us in her discussion on effective communication strategies with clients and navigating feedback. She eloquently stated that early feedback from clients is the key to success along the way.
We want to congratulate Guru on this fantastic event! We learned so much, and we had the awesome privilege of meeting so many talented customer-facing leaders at the Empower Conference. We look forward to putting some of these empowering strategies to work over the next quarter.