How to identify at risk clients

The best client retention strategy is to make sure you deliver a great client experience. To do this consistently requires careful management. Leaving the client experience to chance is not the best strategy and runs the risk of you being surprised by clients you thought were happy leaving the firm.

August 1, 2023

A better strategy is to be proactive and to establish a structured process to regular check-in with clients to make sure of the experience. The best client experience strategies have four key components:


As Peter Drucker famously said, what gets measured gets managed. It is amazing how many firms still don't take steps to measure how their clients feel about their service. Many firms mistakenly assume that if there was something wrong they would know. But many unhappy clients simply switch providers without raising their concerns beforehand. And if you measure experience regularly you can identify declines in client satisfaction early and intervene. Also humans have a knack of adjusting their behaviour once measurement systems are established. So the act of measurement drives improvement over time. On top of this, the insights you gain from measurement enable coaching directed at improving the particular issues that emerge. Addressing service issues is an ongoing process. No one achieves excellence without ongoing feedback.

celebration be curious


Each professional in the firm needs access to their feedback for their clients (whether they work individually or as part of a team). This needs to be done sensitively. Keeping feedback confidential to the individual or the team responsible is a good idea.


The best system is the one that gets used and is easy to maintain. So simple is best – simple for the firm to manage and simple for the client to comply with. For this reason it is hard to go past the net promoter system developed by the global strategy firm Bain and Co, widely used globally by firms such as Apple Retail and Amazon. But of course, this is not the only metric available. The best fit will depend on the firm culture.

Action focus

Whatever system you use it must be focused on action. This means that the client experience data needs to be delivered quickly to the client relationship owner in a way that allows and encourages action.

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