Chris Lang, Client Services Director from Acuigen hosted a well-attended webinar this week discussing the use of client insight to assess business landscapes during the recovery phases of COVID-19.
At the start of the discussion, we considered the similarities between epidemiologists’ views of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what is being done when undertaking client insight, namely:
The importance of background surveillance information to understand what’s normal – how many clients would normally recommend us/how satisfied are clients? In the COVID world – baseline information is needed to assess change, similarly, when evaluating client feedback a baseline is needed
Be ready to focus on and celebrate successes and address problem areas – this allows leaders to reassign resources to provide backup, support and create more success
Keep people informed, both clients and staff
Continually innovate to be successful
The COVID-19 recovery phase
By the end of May 2020, we will hopefully be coming to the end of the COVID-19 emergency response period and will commence a period of business recovery. The focus will then change from being there for your clients, to needing to understand their new landscape and future priorities. Gradually, over the next 6 – 12 months recovery will continue, and for some sectors and markets, new business models will emerge. During this period all professional service firms will need to be ready to respond to changing business landscapes and increased competition from competitor firms.
Accelerating through the recovery phase
It will be important for firms to be ready to accelerate through the recovery phase by forecasting demand for services both by geography and sector. Firms should develop flexible plans to capture the demand, aiming to build resilience into future service delivery models, and begin to acquire any new necessary capabilities that may be needed. Then when the time is right, firms should refocus to meet clients’ changing needs. By evaluating key strategic priorities, firms can redevelop the services they offer to reflect the new needs and priorities of clients1.
The change in collecting client feedback during COVID-19
Undertaking client feedback has been difficult for some firms during March and early April 2020, with client relationship owners and fee earners focussing upon informal contact with key clients. This increased informal dialogue between the firm and clients has in some cases limited the opportunity to undertake independent interviews.
By late April, with the availability of more clients to give feedback, and the use of virtual interviews using remote meeting technology increasing, things are beginning to somewhat normalise. This trend is likely to continue. Web survey response rates have also slightly increased during this period. Some interviews by phone have been delayed as respondents deployed from office to home working environments.
When planning feedback during the next few months it will be important to:
Be aware and sensitive to the cultural expectations of your firm
Be respectful of what is going on in your clients’ world, both professionally and personally
Make sure your conversations with clients reflect the current situation
Join the discussion
All webinars are free to attend, to join the next webinar please visit our virtual events page.
Reference:  https://www.bain.com/insights/covid-19-protect-recover-and-retool/