What is “Client Focused Consulting”? To be honest I don’t know, because it is different for every client that we meet, and over time it changes. I know Client Focused Consulting involves a process of talking to your client and then listening so we understanding what their needs and objectives are, then effectively and regularly communicating these needs and objectives to the project team.
Having spent many years working for a variety of consulting companies; from small independent consultants where I was a partner, to large worldwide consulting companies; I am shocked at how poor technical consultants can be at providing good quality customer service to their clients. Most get the technical part right, but almost all of them get poor marks for customer service. In recent years customer service has decreased even more, with email and social media becoming a god send to the introverted technician. No longer do they have to talk to the client on the phone, now they can just send an incomprehensible email, tweet, or other form of “social” communication.
Included in the Client Focused Consulting process are simple rules like don’t take the project if you cannot meet the client’s objectives. Don’t work for the client if their values don't align with your values. For example, after spending many years working in the forest industry I am very reluctant to take on any project unless it is part of a tree farm license; when I work for these clients they appreciate the quality in the design we do, and they know our work will really payoff 20 to 30 years later when the road and drainage systems are still working without needing replacement and excessive maintenance.
Understand the problems that the client has asked you to solve, and understand how the work you are doing fits into the big picture. Understand what irks the client the wrong way, then avoid these. I have a Client that once he leaves you a phone message he just wants a call back within a day to say you got his message and that you understand the problem or you are going to need more information to solve the problem. Most importantly, talk to your client on a regular basis and make sure that the goals and objectives are still the same. Things change constantly, the economy changes, the size of projects grow or shrink, and regulations are always changing. I have yet to see a client happy when you can’t get the job done even if there is a good technical or regulatory reason behind it; most importantly get the job done.
At Abiluc, we will regularly talk and listen to you to make sure that we understand your needs and objectives, so we can get the job done.
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