5 Star Client Service Starts Internally
Recently, I was at a fast-growing firm, training their new hires on the Five Star Client Service™ program. This firm has been implementing the Five Star Client Service methodology for the last three years and they’ve seen significant improvements in culture and teamwork. This effect on the team is not a happy accident. The Five Star Client Service training is built on the concept that firms cannot provide excellent external service without first providing excellent internal service to their teams. This blog post will summarize the Five Star Client Service framework and challenge you to consider how your firm can consistently deliver five star client service to your internal and external clients.
We start the training by having each person in the firm complete 360° surveys focused on internal client service. This provides a baseline and starting point for each person in your firm as they begin the Five Star Client Service journey. Then during a daylong session, we discuss the survey results and provide training on applying the seven principles of Five Star Client Service:
Connecting (Relationships) – building strong working relationships through open and honest communication
Taking the Order – working to anticipate each other’s perspectives and needs while asking the right questions to ensure the “order” is being taken correctly
Delivering the Order – making sure all parties understand the service that’s been performed and the benefits that have resulted.
Ascertaining Satisfaction – making sure your team understands how their efforts are perceived by those they are serving and if expectations were met
Offering Dessert – one of the most fun parts of belonging to a high-performing, strongly-branded firm
Collecting the Check – the appropriate time to set the stage for the relationship’s future and build ongoing satisfaction
Recovery – systematic steps we take to reestablish a relationship after we make a mistake or create a problem.
After the first day, group leaders lead seven to eight weeks of short, internal meetings focusing on each principle of Five Star Client Service. The groups discuss how they can improve individually and as a firm. These sessions are invaluable because rather than having an outside consultant come in and tell people how they need to change, the team generates ideas to improve the firm on their own.
At the end of the eight weeks, we return to the firm for another session where we discuss the ideas that were generated by the process, decide which ideas to move forward on, and put together a plan for implementation.
During this process, we often find that firms have blind spots, or areas where they thought they were doing a great job, but their team members don’t agree. Best practices that partners think are happening in the firm aren’t always happening, or staff members who’ve been asking for more responsibility aren’t getting it, and there’s no system in place that allows them to step up. The process is usually eye-opening for many of the firm’s leaders.
In the end, most firms end up creating a Five Star team or task force to focus on the ongoing implementation of the ideas generated in the firm. This is the first start toward building a culture of consistency that can help you grow the brand you want to achieve.
How would your employees rate the client service they receive in the course of performing their jobs? If you think they’d give it less than a five-star rating, it’s time to take a look at processes and communication in your firm. You may think your external clients don’t see it, but I guarantee if your internal customer service is breaking down, your external client service will impact your ability to attract and retain both internal and external clients eventually. How can your firm begin consistently delivering Five Star Client Service today?
Jon Hubbard, Director of Business Development at Boomer Consulting, Inc. is certified as both a Kolbe™ Consultant and a Five Star Client Service Consultant. He is an enthusiastic speaker with experience providing leadership for multiple facets of BCI’s overall sales, marketing and communications strategy.
Jon thrives as a careful planner and strategic thinker. He is a talented researcher who is skillful in translating knowledge into strategy, and he has studied and implemented marketing strategies focused on websites, social media and digital communications.