From last week’s message, you were challenged to begin upgrading yourself by using technology more effectively. What did you do? How are you better? Or are you one of those slackers who read the message and then tossed it aside as you pulled out your abacus, or whatever past technology or practice you’re comfortable using?
Probably the most interesting comment I heard is the one who said he was upgrading his rotary dial wall phone and getting off that damn party line. If you understood the humor, you’re showing your age. And if you’re too young to even know what that means, it’s a perfect example of the pace of change.
So what else has changed “recently?” How about client service? It used to be that delivering on time, on budget and at quality was all you needed to do. It was the hallmark of a true professional and something you strove to provide.
Then everyone caught up and it wasn’t enough. Your clients wanted more. Technical depth became more necessary. You now had to demonstrate deep technical expertise. No longer could you convince your clients that your general knowledge was sufficient.
As your competitors also demonstrated technical expertise and experience, the bar was raised again to where you were expected to apply your technical depth to a client’s specific industry. A general business approach was less valuable. So you applied your knowledge to a market sector to show you really know their business.
Alas, it’s still not enough. If that’s your current bar for excellent service, you are behind. Clients today expect all those elements as table stakes to get you in the game, but not enough to win. Today, they also want an easy, efficient and responsive experience working with you, which puts a whole lot more pressure on you, your systems and your firm.
Ease of interaction has become the gold standard for clients choosing you and remaining with you. Your technology choices and practices should always include the question about how it makes it easier for your clients. If your technology or practice is mostly for your convenience or efficiency, you will fall behind your competitors—quickly—regarding the experience your client has working with you.
So again, what is one area where you need to suck it up, put your abacus away, and invest yourself in upgrading your technology or practice? Don’t let another week go by. Begin today.