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Case Study #8

“We Won’t Learn Anything New from Client Interviews”

This is a common misconception held by many partners.  But, even if the above comment is valid, at least the interviews will confirm that the partners’ impressions were correct.  However, as one of our professional services firms admitted: 

“In many cases, [the partners] had previously heard what was said to the interviewer.  But the big difference was that it wasn’t in black and white so they didn’t have to deal with it – and no one else was aware of it.  There were also a number of cases where what was heard was a big surprise.”

Some examples of a “big surprise” follow – and these come from “good” Key Clients.  How many “big surprises” can you afford among your Key Clients?

1.     “We are no longer considered a ‘Class A’ client.  The key partners no longer devote the necessary time and are not as knowledgeable about our business.”

2.     “The Firm should market me more.”

3.     “A competing firm is all over us.”

4.     The Firm’s work in one of its specialty areas “is not as excellent as its other services.”

5.     “While another firm has historically done this work for us, it’s now so critical to our financial performance that I could use the Firm’s help in this matter, this year.”

6.     “They were too intent on trying to sell the next job instead of paying attention to the matter at hand.”

7.     “The Firm seems like a generalist, not a specialist in our industry and, for that reason, is not anticipating our specific needs.”

8.     “They haven’t been as sensitive to our cost concerns as we would have liked.”

9.     “Some of the partners’ infighting was apparent to us.”

10.   “There were shortcomings related to the worldwide coordination of their services.”

11.     “Their drafting is too complex and technical – some sentences going on for half a page – and therefore it requires translation to be understood by our business executives.”


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