Why Most Consulting Firms Won’t Improve Your Customer Experience
The goals of most management consulting firms revolve around providing information, solutions, and recommendations; however, the current status quo in this field appears to focus more heavily on diagnosis rather than implementation — and it’s a problem for the overall customer experience that many clients are hoping to improve.
By adapting the philosophy of “Tell, maybe show…definitely don’t teach,” some management consulting firms are leaving clients with short-term solutions they may not know how to implement, along with a lack of understanding on how to improve their customer experience in the future, independently of an outside eye.
Here are our recommendations for overcoming some common roadblocks in the industry:
WHEN PROBLEMS GET SWEPT UNDER THE RUG
When people are afraid of being blamed for internal problems or deficiencies by outside consultants, they tend to sweep those issues under the rug to avoid having the finger pointed. The solutions become secondary, and the user experience suffers as a result. But by putting the work first, and by not taking suggestions for change personally, an organization can address issues head on with the help of their chosen consultant/agency partner.
Our Recommendation: Create a profoundly collaborative effort that is holistic in nature and sensitive to the very human relationships that management consulting and the customer experience is built upon. Members from all walks of an organization should be able to participate in the consultant’s diagnosis from the very beginning, allowing them to gradually implement necessary changes as both the client and consultant learn from one another during this shared experience.
WHEN SOLUTIONS END UP ON THE SHELF TO COLLECT DUST
Clients who have been left out of the loop during the diagnostic process often fail to implement the resulting solutions, mostly due to miscommunications, a lack of encouragement, or even, the egos of senior management and their fear of challenging the status quo. But a solution that isn’t implemented is neither helpful nor cost effective.
Our Recommendation: Follow the mantra of “Tell, show, teach, learn.” In other words, consultants and clients alike both have things to learn from one another. The consultant’s role is to keep clients in the loop and on task so that they not only understand new practices that can be implemented, but also know why they need to be implemented and how those changes can make their organization more profitable and effective. And by enabling each other to do their best work, the organization can become a more self-sustaining work environment that doesn’t rely on the constant feedback from outsiders.
WHEN GOOD IDEAS GET ABANDONED
Many great ideas never see the light of day, for various reasons. Some clients might feel that the solutions presented are impractical and unrealistic, while some consultants might feel burned by organizations that don’t respect or even consider their findings. Such miscommunications are often the result of a non-collaborative environment, one where clients feel unappreciated and unable to connect the dots between the problems they were having and the solutions recommended by the consultant.
Our Recommendation: Don’t just be a consultant or a client — be partners — working together for the greater good of the organization and its customers. By truly collaborating you can solve problems faster and more efficiently, and both be on the same page throughout the process. And by acknowledging that the client is the expert in their field while the consultant is the expert in strategic thinking, you can both capitalize on one another’s strengths to remedy your weaknesses and create a great customer experience. In other words, simply be courteous, set your egos aside, work smart and do great work as a team.
We at Motivate Design are firm believers in this concerted, synergic model of being not just a consultant, but a partner as well. But we understand that we’re one of the few exceptions out there, and not the rule.
What has been your experience working with consultants? Did they help your customer experience? Tell us your story and we’ll be sure to share the best ones on our next newsletter.
Originally published at www.motivatedesign.com.