September 17, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic turmoil is changing the way we live and work. Business continuity is being threatened at unprecedented levels. Combined with the current complexities organizations are now facing, maintaining business continuity requires a new approach to common challenges.
Our current blog series is reviewing crisis recovery and business continuity in the professional services industry. Last week we discussed empowering a remote workforce. In part four, we discuss the importance to recognize new client challenges and address this question:
Are you reimagining client needs to consider their new priorities and expectations?
Evaluate client experiences
Clients have new, urgent needs and expectations since the pandemic and economic fallout. Aberdeen asked respondents to gauge expected impact on core metrics over the next six to twelve months. Its data demonstrates the client concerns around revenue, operating profit, total customer base, and employee headcount.
That same Aberdeen report noted most organizations are seeing declines in client revenue spend, but less than half of respondents anticipate losing a portion of their client base.
Being certain about what clients want has always been important but understanding and staying in step with what they value most, right now, is crucial. Organizations must discover new ways of managing the business which will require engaging clients and building trust as never before and finding creative ways to unlock client-imposed revenue reductions.
[ Download the best practice guide: Crisis recovery and business continuity in the next normal ]
Many have been forced into the realization that virtual activities are possible, effective, and sustainable. Virtual collaboration and digital engagements are necessary and so is posing questions about how best to leverage, adopt, and deliver services and experiences going forward. Virtual services with no one in the field is clearly a different approach, and organizations should look for opportunities to offer clients new access, new ideas, and new service options.
Client service points to consider
Organizations will do well to consider the following points in relation to client service.
- Clients now want to know that their collaborators understand their new concerns, shifting priorities, and even their humanity.
- To stabilize, recover, and thrive, organizations must avoid client inconvenience, lack of trust, and poor service—especially in times of uncertainty.
- The next normal also requires a new look at the customer journey.
- Organizations should also consider fresh ways of deploying technology to help deliver on service.
- Response during uncertainty will have immense effect on client relationships in the post-pandemic reality.
Ultimately, the professional services industry needs to understand and respond to shifting client expectations because those experiences impact the bottom line—and in some cases of crisis today, may be the right, human thing to do.
Next week, we’ll review best practices around enhancing back office efficiencies.
If you would like to discover more about recovery and continuity in professional services, we invite you to download a best practice guide: