To stand out in your industry, provide your customers with experiences that evoke positive and memorable emotions.

You don’t always need to invest in costly technological or operational projects to innovate in this field. Improving the client experience is primarily an everyday business challenge that must be placed at the heart of your SME’s culture and strategy.

With this in mind, it’s your role, as business leader, to clearly define the client experience you want to offer and make it a priority that engages all employees. Remember that today, above all else, clients (individuals or businesses) are looking for speed and simplicity in their interactions with suppliers as well as increasingly tailored service offerings.

Know your client well

Where can you find new ideas to enhance the client experience? Of course, you could get inspiration from the best of the best in the industry, but first and foremost, it’s all about being able to listen to your clients and knowing their expectations, what they want to live as a rational, emotional experience, and only then will you discover how to improve your delivery.

While some expectations are clearly defined by your clients, others are unclear or not defined at all, but they still exist and therefore can influence your clients’ behaviours.

You can use various methods for determining their expectations and actual needs.

Traditional methods

  • Perceptual surveys;
  • Mystery clients;
  • Analysis of the records of complaints and comments;
  • Operational follow-ups after a transaction, etc.

Social media

They allow you to maintain a constant dialogue with your clients.

New technological tools

You could gather continuous information about your clients using advanced analytical tools, for example. These will help you analyze your data, determine client trends and decode their behaviours.

Regardless of the method, it’s much more than just asking them for a list of desired improvements, hoping to foster their loyalty and inclination to recommend your products and services.

Make the most of new technologies

New analytical and artificial intelligence tools enable you to get to know your clients well by analyzing large quantities of data from a variety of sources: client databases, transaction history, email communications with clients, comments on social media, etc.

Fortunately, technological development in the past years have made these technological tools more and more affordable for SMEs. They can help you analyze the current client path accurately and detect what’s really important for clients and what can irritate them. This way, you can improve in the way they really want.

Think, for example, of automated management applications where suppliers can monitor their client’s inventories in real time (B2B) in order to always have sufficient quantities on hand. On the other end of the value chain, think about clients that can follow the progress of their order and be informed in real time of delivery time frames. Also, think about personalization tools on e-commerce websites where consumers have the possibility of configurating products based on their preferences.

Engage your employees

Lastly, in the same way you have a conversation with your clients, you should continuously maintain a client experience dialogue with your employees. It’s the best way to give this topic all of the importance due and mesh it with your business culture.

Furthermore, since the client experience is delivered on a daily basis, interaction by interaction, your employees are at the heart of this delivery experience and are also an invaluable source of improvement ideas.

In recent years, managers have tended to be very present in the field in order to supervise employees’ activities and coach them, for example. This helps gather comments to improve and discuss the client experience, while ensuring that the guidelines are followed by all staff.

As a result, you will improve the client experience, little by little, every day, by making small gestures that will add up and help keep you at the forefront of this game.


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The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published Insights into IFRS 16 – Definition of a lease.

The Insights into IFRS 16 series provides insights on applying IFRS 16, Leases, in key areas. Each edition will focus on an area of IFRS 16 to assist you in preparing for the required changes on adoption of the standard.

The edition Insights into IFRS 16 – Definition of a lease provides guidance on the definition of a lease.

The issue

IFRS 16 changes the definition of a lease from the current evaluation in IFRIC 4, Determining whether an Arrangement Contains a Lease, and provides guidance on how to apply this new definition. As a result, some contracts that do not contain a lease today will meet the definition of a lease under IFRS 16, and vice versa.

The bulletin explains the new lease definition and the three key evaluations necessary to determine that the contract is or contains a lease.

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Business leaders have shared their entrepreneurial vision with our President and CEO, Emilio B. Imbriglio, in exclusive interviews.

Always relevant, their comments deserve our attention. This is the last in a series of three interviews.

In these videos, Luis Romero, Founder and CEO of Equisoft. discusses several topics, including competitive advantage, leadership, tax credits and business DNA.

Most of the time, I’m just helping my team.

Our firm is proud to present these high-level meetings filmed in an unusual and spectacular location: outside, on the roof of Place Ville Marie.

To find out more, view these short videos.


On competitive advantage


On leadership


On tax credits


On business DNA

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The closure of some RONA hardware stores has a direct impact on numerous hardware store owners who are of an age to start thinking about making way for their successors.

For these owners, most of whom are between 54 and 58 years of age, their business’s succession is a concern. Closure of these local businesses has shaken up the industry, awakening old demons and highlighting the challenges facing entrepreneurs—the value of their business and the labour shortage.

An entrepreneurial succession process includes a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the business. The availability of labour is a major component in the equation to define the business’s value.

How can human resources be retained?

Needless to say, the recent announcement of RONA hardware store closures triggered substantial insecurity, feeding the negative climate in the market, particularly for independent RONA store owners, and with reason.

The new generations of workers have very specific criteria when they are looking for a job, a situation that is even more prevalent in the hardware sector. They want to work for an organization with an identity, values, a history and, most importantly, a plan for the future with the material and financial means to maintain its position over time.

Fortunately, there are solutions to attract and retain human resources. For example, entrepreneurs can invest in coaching sessions to keep their resources and develop human resource marketing strategies. But, first and foremost, entrepreneurs need to develop or re-evaluate their succession plan.

In order to be better equipped to counter this shock wave that is rocking the Quebec hardware industry, it’s essential for the industry to reinvent itself and review its methods of communication.

It is crucial to prepare a game plan for the organization, consider its longevity and review personal choices. Owners also need to accelerate the implementation of their succession plan and solidify their relationship with key employees.

Opportunities to seize

The closure of some RONA hardware stores in Quebec is an indication that the Quebec retailer has opted to focus on larger branches. This opens up future opportunities for other hardware retailers and, as a result, smaller businesses.

Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs must act and mobilize to differentiate their business.

Our team of experts can support entrepreneurs in this process. Our entrepreneurial succession specialists have an integrated approach that incorporates the psychological, human and logical challenges; it’s the perfect tool to help entrepreneurs face the challenges head on.