Thursday, July 15, 2010

Competitive advantage in service organisations

When operating a professional services business the primary means of achieving a competitive advantage over your competitors is to have a better understanding of the needs and wants of clients then the competition does.

The greatest way to learn what these needs and wants are is to listen to your clients. Sounds very simple but many service practitioners do not actively listen.

There are various ways and means to listen to your clients:
  1. user groups
  2. reverse seminars
  3. attending client industry meetings
  4. market research
  5. senior partner visits
  6. engagement team debriefings
  7. systematic client feedback
You must also determine the difference between reactions and feedback. Reactions are an immediate response, either verbal or non-verbal, to a communication whilst feedback is a response with logic and reason, or other useful information. Take note of the reactions but to truly learn what your clients want feedback is more useful.

Designing and implementing an active client listening program can have immediate and startling results for any business. Call Ivy Business Consulting for help with developing such a program.

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