Suggestions To Improve Client Relations

Nicholas J. Webb, a speaker, holder of more than 42 patents and longtime management consultant, has conducted extensive research on this topic and, he says perfecting the relationship with your customers is the essence of business today.

To create deep and lasting client connections, Webb suggests this recipe:

Understand your client.

Instead of focusing on income, race, gender and age, drill down into customers’ loves, hates, habits and goals—all before you even think about selling to them. Have meaningful, one-on-one conversations; asking about their past experiences with other professionals in your field; and learning about their definitions of success. From this data you can construct what Webb calls “nodes,” or customer profiles based on personality types and goals.

Create a customer experience for each node.

Webb says most businesses can break down the customer experience into five touch points:

  • Pre-touch. Your marketing, social media, blog and word-of-mouth referrals all set the stage for the customer’s experience and expectations.
  • First touch. The initial interaction with your product, team or location. “Eighty percent of your client’s permanent impression of you comes from that first touch,” Webb says.
  • Core experience. “You must be a constant, active observer—always looking for clues where you could potentially miss the mark with your client,” he says, noting that the vast majority of unhappy customer experiences occur during this period, when familiarity can breed laziness, if not contempt.
  • Report out. Create systems that measure and prove your value to them. Share these results in regular reports.
  • Send-off. Leave them with something unexpected. At the end of routine meetings with clients, Webb might announce that they can expect a customized white paper to share with the rest of their team, or an instructional video of him elaborating on one of the meeting’s points.


Webb jokes that he commits fraud at each touch point. “At every touch point, I tell a lie,” he says. “I tell them they will get a lot less than I know I’ll deliver. I always exceed the baseline level of client expectation.”