A few weeks ago, we shared our latest data-driven insights into the ROI opportunities for Consulting Engineering / Built Environment firms in investing in Client eXperience (CX) programs.
We outlined that the report “provides unequivocally clear evidence that increasing Excellent CX and avoiding Poor CX supports profitable growth.
Today’s evidence-driven insight reinforces why it is so important to keep in meaningful contact between projects.
Yes, wait for it. The greatest area for improvement for consulting engineering and built environment firms is the 'Ongoing relationship' phase of the client journey. In my career as a CMO, I cannot count the number of times I heard savvy client-focused principals coaching younger engineers about the need to stay in contact with their clients. Firms I was with even developed client engagement skills training to provide support.
This beaton data provides further support for the need (the clients are saying this!) and the opportunity for firms. In the current environment where some clients will be feeling tremendous pressure, such as the cutting of capex budgets and facing project delays, this phase is incredibly important.
Are you in frequent and regular contact with key clients so they feel important and supported in dealing with their issues, challenges and opportunities?
Look to help in any way possible so they feel you are invested in them – but without being pushy.
Or are you a 'fair-weather friend' who will be ready to meet once the client is ready to spend money again?
Our research breaks down 'the client journey' into four phases, in each of which clients were asked about their CX. The 4 Os of the CX Cycle are: onboarding and scoping, operational and main work, outcome / deliverable and ongoing relationship. The area for greatest improvement is the 'Ongoing relationship' phase of the client journey
It is perhaps unsurprising to learn that the highest-rated part of the journey for clients is during the Outcome/ deliverable phase.
This chart shows that all three professions fall away in 'Ongoing relationship'. This is particularly true for built environment & consulting engineering with 6.3 (out of 10). And it's from a considerably lower starting point, namely 7.2 in the first three phases, compared to 8.2 to 8.6 in the other two professions.
As a consulting engineering firm are you:
Clear and transparent about who is accountable for ongoing management of your key client relationships?
Supporting those individuals with the time, leadership, mindset and skills to manage those relationships, so that the equivalent red line for your firm is not dipping south like the one in the chart?
Mapping out client personas and journey maps?
If ever there was a time for consultants, it’s Now.