How often are you checking in with your clients? Once a month? Once every quarter? Are you even keeping track? If you’re a vCIO, it’s crucial you tally up a portion of your client interactions. We at TruMethods call these particular interactions “unique client touches."
What is a unique client touch?
If you’re not a vCIO, the term “unique client touch” may be a bit unfamiliar to you, but if it is, that’s okay (I’ll break it down for you). Basically, unique client touches are interactions you have with your clients in between your in-person meetings with them.
As vCIO, part of your job is to develop high-value strategic partnerships with your company’s clients. Now, as you know, relationship building with clients takes some time, so you should have a well-thought-out “touch” strategy ready to deploy ahead of time.
How do I determine the right amount of unique client touches?
There’s no right answer. Our suggestion to every TruMethods vCIO is the following: Review your customer base to determine the ideal interaction frequency for each of your clients. Remember this: Clients have varying needs, so adjust your touches accordingly.
In the technology success provider (TSP) model, which we at TruMethods have endorsed time and time again, the vCIO builds client relationships that produce predictable results. Now, as a vCIO, you’re responsible for maintaining relationships with clients. Let me be clear, though: You’re not an account manager. There’s a big difference. In your role as vCIO, you’re building relationships with clients to acquire additional knowledge about business models and strategies, promote value, and assess views on technologies.
The goal of every customer interaction should be to add value. During a unique client touch, find out what’s happening in a client’s business and review the outcomes of past meetings to make sure everybody’s still on the same page. Also, if your team uncovered any misalignments during the technology review process, bring this up to your client before the next strategy meeting. Unique client touches help you as a vCIO stay as up to date on the status of a client’s business and progress. While these interactions are essential, they should never be a waste of time. Always be ready to provide more value.
What counts as a unique client touch?
Not every client interaction counts toward your tally for unique client touches. For example, an in-person meeting isn’t a unique client touch. In the TruMethods vCIO Playbook, there’s a separate line for in-person meetings. Use these in-person meetings as a way to gauge the number of unique client touches you should be having each week.
Also, only use email as a way to keep clients up to date on issues. Add a unique client touch to your table if you use the phone or video conferencing to connect with a client.
Keeping track of unique client touches will assist you as a vCIO with monitoring your client interactions, which will help you build better client relationships that produce predictable results.