The strength and survival of a firm depends on its ability to be relevant to its marketplace and the needs of its clients. Professional firms are defined by the markets they serve. In such a competitive environment, the success of a firm is dependent upon knowing what the client needs and tailoring practices to meet those needs. Make sure your firm is a client service firm by:
– Talking and listening to existing clients
Listen to what your clients tell you about their business and industry trends, and think of the services you could provide to meet these issues.
– Review your client and industry-mix
Where are these industries and clients headed and how does your firm plan to respond to any changes? Consider if any trends will bring new opportunities for meeting the needs of your clients.
– Find out what your competitors are doing
What services are your competitors offering their clients and what are they doing that’s different from you? Study your competitors and borrow their successful tactics.
– Review your firm’s structure
Firms may need to restructure their practice to meet the current and emerging needs of the marketplace. This process could result in hiring new skills or merging with another firm to obtain the skills your firm needs to move ahead to achieve short and long-term goals.
– Remember the basics of good client service
Reasonable fees, excellent work, timeliness and responsiveness. Think about your own reaction if the professional services you were buying fell short of these standards. It’s likely you’d react the same way as any other client by dumping your existing service provider and finding a new one.
Finding ways to truly be a client service firm is the only way to compete in today’s market. By constantly reviewing and responding to your clients’ needs, firms can enhance relationships and send a clear messages that you understand your client’s business and industry, that you can help them maximise new opportunities and meet the challenges of a changing world.