Ben Klockner & Michael Pontrelli

Consilio In Action: Putting Clients First

At Consilio, we believe that all our employees are responsible for the client experience and can have a great impact on it, even if they don’t deal directly with clients every day.

A perfect example is Ben Klockner, Consilio’s Senior Director of Infrastructure and a member of the company’s Client Experience Leadership Council. Infrastructure is not typically a client-facing role, but directly impacts clients in a significant way. Ben likes to think of his department as Consilio’s offensive line: “We’re here to protect the clients, but the clients might never even know we’re here unless something goes wrong.”

The Best Way to Solve Problems? Be Proactive

Success for Ben and his team are measured in uptime and performance, meaning that clients only focus on infrastructure when things aren’t working the way they want them to. Ben’s goal is to make sure that never happens, and therefore he’s taken a proactive approach to improving the client experience.

That mindset prompted Ben to take a look at the results of Consilio’s Client Experience Relativity Survey, which is aimed at assessing pain points or areas of improvement that might exist for users of that platform. The results were eye-opening for Ben. As it turns out, clients weren’t satisfied with their current experience of managing passwords. While some IT issues that give rise to client complaints are outside Ben’s control, passwords were something he could directly address.

“I started to dig in a little bit to figure out what some of the pain points were, and I noticed a lot of complaints about passwords,” Ben says. “They had a long list of different reasons why they’ve had issues with passwords, and from a client experience perspective, that was by far the biggest gap that we had according to the survey.” Ben got to work figuring out how he could make changes to how clients manage their passwords going forward in the hopes of eliminating or at least limiting the number of problems.

Ultimately, that meant testing his solutions out on Consilio’s own employees. “Most people probably didn’t even notice,” he says. “A few might have asked a couple of questions before they logged in, but otherwise nothing. And that’s what we’re working towards for our clients.”

For Ben, passwords were an obvious place to start improving the client experience, because Consilio already had solutions on hand that it could leverage to fix the issue, making it a good opportunity for the company to make a real difference for their clients. “If I can improve something from a client perspective, that has a direct company impact.” Ben says.

While Ben still doesn’t typically communicate directly with the clients, his efforts to improve the client experience haven’t gone unnoticed.

Consilio’s Client Experience Leadership Council

In February 2021, Consilio created a Client Experience Leadership Council. Consilio Managing Director Michael Pontrelli explains why: “When you’re going on this client experience journey, it can’t just be one person or two people going it alone. We needed a cross-departmental and cross-functional team throughout the organization to bring various perspectives.”

Accordingly, the company created the Client Experience Leadership Council. It selected approximately 15 people from various divisions to serve on the Council, asking them to bring their unique perspective to the table and help with Consilio’s annual client experience initiatives. Michael personally nominated Ben for the Council in light of his behind-the-scenes work in monitoring responses to the Client Experience Relativity Survey and then suggesting and implementing a solution to address a significant pain point.

“We have a lot of employees like Ben who feel like they’re working behind the scenes and not directly impacting the client experience, and we want to change that,” explains Michael. “We’re instilling a client-centric mindset throughout the organization, and through the Leadership Council, we want to do that more widely throughout the employee base. Everything that all of our employees do is impactful to our clients. Ben thinks creatively about how he could improve our internal processes and better the client experience, so I wanted to feature that.”

If something is in Ben’s control to fix, he can’t leave it unaddressed. “I always want to be better than whatever our competitors are doing,” he says. “I don’t ever want it to be that we’re losing clients because of what I’m doing.” How does he do that? “Persistence and communication. Without communication it would be a failure,” Ben explains. That attitude makes Ben a perfect addition to the Client Experience Leadership Council.

“We work in an extremely demanding industry,” Michael explains, “and awareness of our clients’ feedback – good or bad – is important to share throughout the entire organization and especially with the Leadership Council. That information is gold. It’s also power. It makes us more aware, it makes us want to be better at our jobs.”

That’s why Michael nominated Ben. “I think the council gives employees like Ben who might feel like they’re behind the scenes more of a voice to speak up and suggest ideas they have,” he concludes.

Creating a Client-Centric Company

Why is client satisfaction so important at Consilio? “It’s our lifeblood,” Michael explains. “Repeat clients, repeat business, and continuing to grow our accounts and obtain the trust of our clients is extremely important to us.”

At Consilio, the environment emulates more of a true partnership than a typical client/service provider relationship. Through things like the Client Experience Relativity Survey, Consilio is constantly seeking out feedback so that employees like Ben can start making improvements. This makes for a better client experience and an even stronger long-term relationship.

If there’s something negative in the client experience, Consilio wants to know about it so they can fix it and keep their clients happy. “We’re investing in the partnership and the longevity of the relationship,” Michael concludes. “We want our clients to be our biggest advocates, we want them in the marketplace being a champion for us and saying Consilio listens, they get it right. With proactive employees like Ben on board, that should be the case for the foreseeable future.”