What is Great Customer Service in the Consulting World?
Over the past few months, we have had several people ask – ‘How do you do it?’ – with regard to Kognitiv, Workday, and our ability to acquire business.
To me, a lot of it starts and ends with great customer service. I am going to present a couple of examples of very bad customer service, how such bad customer service is a great opportunity for Kognitiv, and explain our approach to consulting services in such situations. We now have dozens of clients, and here are some things we have experienced along the way.
Problem: My consultant (contractor, partner, expert) told me what I want in Workday is not possible.
Any time we come across a scenario as the one above, it’s basically a fantastic opportunity to win over the client. I’m not sure it can even get better than this because if you can prove the opposite, two things happen:
- An immediate trust factor is established. Whoever was doing the work before, will at best be consulted for a 2nd opinion (maybe).
- The client will by default give you more business opportunities. Why would they trust someone who did not deliver results previously?
Problem: My consultant (contractor, partner, expert) is unresponsive.
A high level of engagement with our clients is one of our core beliefs at Kognitiv. Any time there is an opportunity to provide a higher level of response to a client, we will grasp it. This is basically a good indicator of operational efficiency, and if there are ever too many clients with too many requests that you can’t field, something isn’t right internally.
To provide a great customer service, there are a few things we always do and make sure we stay consistent on.
- We try to help our clients, not sell to them all the time. Believe it or not, if you do a good job, you get inbound sales without much effort. A $3,000 project can easily turn into a $300,000 engagement over time.
- We are sincere and honest about our approach, findings, and expertise. This goes both ways; when we try to accommodate a specific client requirement, or when we think a request is out of bounds from a practical/complexity point of view.
- We thrive when clients are happy, and we try to make sure each client has the best consulting experience possible.
- We are easy to work with. We try very hard to work on terms that suit our clients, instead of trying to box them into something they don’t need. Yes, there are massive challenges for the ‘back-end’ of the company to make it work, but that should be our problem not the client’s.
Some of you may have read my “doing a Great Job” post, and I think this one goes hand in hand with what I explained there. Consulting companies really need to start focusing on the client experience aspect of receiving said consulting. The experience clients are left with creates a lasting impression and ultimately a legacy that a consulting company carries forward.