Client satisfaction and perceived value are two essential elements in building a profitable consulting business. Word of mouth remains a reliably effective form of advertisement. The client’s perception of service quality and value is tied to organic reach. They offer the opportunity to attract new leads and clients without significant effort… at least on the back end.
At first glance, it may seem as if these two important outcomes are up to chance. However, most Consultants are surprised to find out that they can indeed intentionally impact the result. It is possible to strategically increase the likelihood of a positive outcome and receive the client satisfaction and perceived value that you desire.
What is the difference between client satisfaction and perceived value?
Although interrelated, client satisfaction and perceived value are very different concepts.
- Perceived value is based on the client’s perception. The perceived value is established by how the client interprets or views the benefit of your service. To be perceived as valuable, your service must meet the client’s needs and expectations.
- Client satisfaction centers around how well the service and its value were delivered.
It is not sufficient to only offer a valuable service. You must also provide this value to the client in a way that meets or exceeds their expectations.
Why does profitability hinge on client satisfaction and perceived value?
Increasing the perceived value can increase the demand for your services and allow for increased pricing as compensation. This can look like saving time or money, creating an emotional connection, or improving the client’s quality of life. All of which can be very helpful for value-based pricing models.
Client satisfaction then works like a magnet to draw more business to your Consulting practice. It helps increase client attraction and client retention; new clients want to experience a similar positive outcome. Current clients want to work with you again. In addition, it leads to exceptional reviews, enthusiastic referrals, and word-of-mouth advertising that is authentic and organic. These are all things that will help you generate more revenue in your business no matter what model you use and increase profitability over the long term.
How can you boost perceived value and client satisfaction?
Making improvements in perceived value and client satisfaction is easier than you think. However, there are some simple steps that you can take to impact these measures proactively. Here are three things to prioritize NOW to see results right away:
- Set clear expectations. It is important for clients to clearly understand what you offer and what can be expected when working with you. It makes it easier for them to determine whether or not your services will meet their needs. This clarity will help you attract interested leads that see your solution as the perfect fit.
- Seek feedback early and often. Don’t wait until the end of your engagement to seek feedback regarding your services. Doing this doesn’t allow you to adjust and make changes to improve what may not be working. Instead, begin actively listening and seeking feedback as early as your first meeting and periodically after that. Make this routine and proactively address any identified issues. Remaining proactive and engaged will help you shape a rewarding experience that will leave your client raving about your work.
- Remain client-focused. Know what your client wants and what your client needs. Provide what is required to honor your promise and ensure that the transformation is evident. By keeping the client’s viewpoint in mind, you can strategically create a service offering that exceeds expectations time and time again.
Perceived value and client satisfaction are not arbitrary measures that are out of your control. You can strategically impact these critical elements of profitability. It all begins with awareness of what is at stake with every client interaction. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a positive impact.
Last but not least, we will talk about why productivity and efficiency are important for you to move the needle in your business and actually accomplish your goals. Stay tuned…