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Case Study #10

The Client’s Key Expectations

During our Key Client Interviews for professional services firms, we ask each executive toward the end of the interview, “What are your one or two key expectations for [the firm] going forward?” 

The resulting responses are sometimes used by the interviewee to prioritize and possibly rephrase his/her most important recommendations to the firm.  Alternately, the interviewee’s comments can represent a call to action for the firm to modify its behavior or focus so as to better accommodate what the interviewee perceives as his/her most important evolving future needs.  For example:

1.     “Improve the communications with our senior executives by better navigation and vetting of issues.”

2.     “Provide a replacement for [the Lead Partner] – as opposed to having more of his time – as I’ve noted no improvement in his performance over the past year.”

3.     “Provide better execution on assignments and involve more of the Firm’s senior people to make sure it happens.”

4.     “Have a passion for being efficient with [the Firm’s] resources and with our money – and have us perceive that to be the case.”

5.     “Bring to the Audit Committee anything that [the Firm] has concerns about.”

6.     “Continue to keep us aware of best practices at other companies within and outside of our industry.”

7.     “Continue to help provide guidance to me as to the important issues in the various overseas locations.”

8.     “Assess the skills of my people and how they measure up with what I’ll need in the future.”

9.     “Have a high level of interest in our success … and … be a constructive force by acting more like a colleague and a partner while maintaining the proper degree of objectivity.”

10.   “Understand where our business is going and be more proactive in pointing out and anticipating issues that we’ll have to address.”

11.   “Treat us with a high level of priority because we’re not only an important client but also a highly complex client involved with international operations.”

12.     “Engage in more substantive discussions with me and my reports about meaningful ways to impact our regulatory compliance and control culture.  We’re decent at it, but how can we be better?”


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