Ten steps to implement a proprietary client experience database process

#1 List the reasons why you are creating the database and list what tasks/jobs could be achieved more effectively with this information. This process is intended to explore the value a proprietary database would create for different team members and business units in your firm. We recommend starting with a small group of users from one team and documenting the ways in which a single repository of client experience would make their jobs easier. This document could be expanded by including other departments and team members that would benefit from access to the information to complete their tasks. We have seen this process uncover a broad range of beneficiaries including: Front office staff; Client administration; Business Intelligence; Executive leadership; Marketing; and Business Development.

#2 Define and collect information. First, identify the information items that will achieve the jobs/tasks listed in item #1. This list will form the foundation of the information that will be valuable to capture. In addition to specific task-orientated information gather general identification information so the experience can be reconcilable to a team member and other software systems used in your organization. The second step is to identify whether this information is available from existing data sources or if it will require a new data collection process (see step #6 below). You may be surprised at the amount of data that is already being collected at your firm in the business units identified in step #1. Be sure to request Excel, Access, SharePoint resources within those departments. Start with basic administrative data sources, then consider billing, conflict checks, CRMs, website material, tombstones, case studies, team biographies, and deal lists.

#3 Nominate one business unit to own the database. If no business unit takes responsibility for managing the database, it will not be maintained and will not be valuable.

#4 Designate a champion in each business unit. Assigning a champion within each of the business units contributing and accessing the database will ensures data is structured, collected in a timely manner, and is properly safeguarded.

#5 Create permissions and protections. The business unit champion should create an access registry and limit permissions to sensitive information.

#6 Formalize a experience collection process. Create a digital intake form to be completed by each business unit champion for each client engagement completed. This form should include fields relevant to the business unit which completed it and be reviewed by a senior staff member prior to being submitted to the business unit responsible for entering the data.

#7 Create safeguards for confidential transactions. If confidential information is being recorded identify what that information is and clearly display that is should not be disclosed publicly. It is important to act in accordance to client engagement letters, and this should be a strict requirement for each business unit champion to maintain and manage for all client experiences entered into the database.

#8 Reward submissions. Team members will contribute more frequently if they are recognized and rewarded for doing so. Rewards can take many forms and often the simplest social recognition does the trick. For instance, we have seen the creation of a business unit league table and post-deal notifications be successful. Another approach is to create a direct benefit to the business unit by coordinating with marketing team to rely solely on the proprietary database to update website biographies and pitch materials. This provides a direct incentive for front off team members to submit and register their client experiences accurately and in a timely manner.

#9 Market data internally. A well organized database and experience collection process will produce detailed consistent data about client activities. This information should be shared internally in a confidential manner to promote greater awareness of firm experience and services while promoting client and business unit successes at the firm executive level.

#10 Evolve the process. Create a feedback loop that identifies information and reporting gaps which can be reviewed on a timely basis. A quarterly meeting of the business unit champions and the business unit tasked with ownership of the database ensures a regular feedback loop between key stakeholders.

About Pitchly
Pitchly is a transaction database for advisory professionals to record and share deal intelligence and tombstones easily. Professional service firms use Pitchly to record information about transactions they advise to better advise and market to clients. Pitchly makes it easy to distribute, audit and manipulate this information while automating transaction tombstones to market firm experience easily. Customers can migrate an existing proprietary database or create a new proprietary deal database in minutes. Sign up for a trial account or request a demo now!

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