Should I take a hybrid approach to client meetings?

Looking to up your game with clients, but now sure how? In-person meetings used to be the way to do this. However, 2020 changed everything. Especially the ways we meet with others, including our client and their expectations of meetings. 

Hybrid working teams and online client meetings are here to stay. Meaning client centric firms must find new ways to meet clients. And, to find new ways to seize opportunities to wow client in all meeting formats.

So, has your business explored taking a hybrid approach to meetings with clients yet? 

We spoke with 18 client centric business owners to understand how they are approaching this question. They good news – they are all determined to find meeting cadences that work best for their clients’ expectations. And, for many, that means finding a balance. 

Hybrid approach

What is a hybrid approach to client meetings? 

The dawn of a hybrid work age has come and clients are embracing it. 

Physically meeting with clients had been an important component for many businesses. The strategies both build and maintain client relationships is shifting. Clients are now happy to have regular communication done through online meetings. 

Same is true within businesses. The shift in 2020 accelerated the adoption of remote working functionality. And, this proved a possibility to succeed with this flexible solution for businesses. Business owners now are listening to a growing base of employees asking – and, increasingly expecting – to work remotely on a regular base. Whether from home, a flexible co-working location or destination close to family when needed. And, why wouldn’t business owners answer their team members’ requests? They can offer remote working while securely and effectively running their businesses without significant impacts. 

“70% of 350 business leaders surveyed report that employees will be phased back into office in autumn 2021.

77% expect to have a hybrid model in 12 months time.”

Reference: LaSalle Networks

The shift to find a balance between these two key meeting formats – in person and remote – is leading into the dawn of an age of hybrid work. 

Are client centric firms embracing this approach? 

Our Connect4 team spoke with 18 client centric business owners to understand their approach. They are continuously innovating to offer top notch client experience based on both their client’s and teams needs. In experimenting, they landed on an interesting balance. They found the meeting cadence that’s working best for their clients – a hybrid approach. 

They reported that their teams are returning to the office 2-3 days a week, when possible. However, the expectation is that online meetings will continue as 80% report their clients are happy continuing with monthly online meetings. To balance this, they expect to bring in a hybrid approach into their client meeting cadence. Of those spoken with, a majority confirmed their goal will be to meet in person for at least annual or semi-annual account review with clients.

“Clients are happy doing virtual meetings – 80% will likely continue to be that, especially accounting work.”

Jade Donno, 1 Accounts

In summary, the dawn of hybrid work is here to stay. Businesses looking to deliver to client expectations are looking to embrace flexibility in client meeting formats with a mix of in person or online meetings. The hybrid meeting cadence that’s developing for client centric businesses is providing an opportunity to wow clients by simply meeting their needs. All while allowing business owners the ability to build lasting relationships with clients and, in turn, increase revenue to meet their business goals. 

To learn more about our research, download this eBook to explore the benefits of taking a hybrid approach to client meetings.

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Sarah Broderick

Sarah is COO at Connect4. She leads up the commercial teams to GSD and deliver more for customers. During 15 years of client-facing roles in software and financial services, she's become passionate about creating client transparency through consistent, humanised interactions as the key to building strong business relationships.

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