The key to ... in the market has always been the ... gain and maintain a ... edge. Today's consumer ... with speed and has the false ... that ... itself to ef
The key to succeeding in the market has always been the ability to gain and maintain a competitive edge. Today's consumer is obsessed with speed and has the false impression that speed lends itself to efficiency by default. Just because we are working faster doesn't mean we are working smarter, and as a result the consumer often pays more for less. This speed-based commerce has evolved itself into the even greater "one stop shopping" phenomena. A phenomena which is fast becoming the defining factor surrounding an organization's ability to attract and retain quality clients.
Speed has come at a price for the consumer. As I listen to and participate in conversations, a common theme is that of people marvelling at the lack of customer service in industries across the board. They are not, however, willing to forego their "now not later" way of life. In exchange they have been forced to accept a lack of consistency and customer service and view it to be a necessary by-product of the force that is driving their lives.
I believe that standardized methodologies can do nothing but increase efficiency, increase quality of service, and ultimately increase profitability. Earlier I mentioned paying more for less. Taken in the context of technology consulting, what this usually means is that an implementation has not gone well, there have been numerous meetings with top management, the client literally views themselves as being stuck with their decision because of the dollars that have been invested to that point, and costs are far exceeding the original bid for the project. It's my experience that if the consultants had been executing a well thought out plan which was reviewed with the client prior to the start of the engagement, the client's expectations could have easily been managed from the onset.
Standardization is the key to retaining clients and increasing a firm's capacity to take on more business. Imagine the comfort of knowing that a client could enter any of the firm's offices and receive the same level of service, competence, and value for any given project.
Niki Bohne is the Director of Management Consulting at Kern, DeWenter, Viere, Ltd. For free newsletter subscriptions on topics ranging from estate planning, tax impact and nonprofit organizations go to http://www.kdv.com.