Recently, I had the misfortune of learning that I had a severe case of diverticulitis that ultimately resulted in my having to have surgery. Some quick background – 21 total days in the hospital, 31 pounds lost and 27 days without solid food, getting fed via a pump. As you can imagine, it was not a fun or pleasant experience, but it is now (hopefully) done. The reason I wanted to share this story with you is that throughout this experience, I was continually amazed by my doctor, Dr. Wilkins of Associated Colon and Rectal. Let’s get one thing clear, I would have no idea if she is a better surgeon or uses a better technique than anyone else – how would I know, I was a sleep during the critical time. I can’t see what she did (except for the 6 inch scar she left). In short, I have no medical training, and thus, no way of knowing.
One time while sitting in her office, it struck me that for many of my clients (especially those in professional service), a similar situation occurs for their clients. The client doesn’t always have the expertise to truly understand if the deliverable was great.
There were some very measurable reasons why I decided I loved my experience with Dr. Wilkins – when I had to go to her office the wait was never more than 15 minutes – when I had to call and ask the nurse a question she quickly got back to me – when I was in the hospital on days when she was not on rounds she would call to check on me – and when I wanted medicine she responded quickly to the nurses. The result (besides my being clear of diverticulitis) is that I tell everyone that Dr. Wilkins is a great surgeon even though, as I mentioned, I have no way of knowing – I am just assuming that since the experience was “great” and my health has improved, that she is great.
So back to how this applies to your practice, client experience is something that is sometimes lost in focusing on the deliverables. You may do everything to make sure that deliverables are met – you worked all night for three weeks to make sure a litigation timetable was met, or personally oversaw clearing up a tax problem for a smaller client, but the client might not ever know that this is what it took to deliver a superior product. Most often (besides competency), what makes you referable is client experience. Think everyday about how you can make your client experience better – doing so will make your clients improve their satisfaction of you – and make you much more referable.
If you are looking for insight to help you grow your practice
I invite you to contact me. As the inventor and author of The Micro-Niche Method, I have helped thousands of CPAs, attorneys, professional service providers, and business owners increase profitability and marketability by focusing on niches. If you would like for me to visit your company or organization and show you how focusing on a niche can help revolutionize your practice or market, contact me today.