I caught up with an old colleague last week, and, as we were chatting away about the good old days, we were struck by how much in today's professional service firms is driven by the hard metrics of the chargeable hour, income, profitability and recovery rates. All entirely understandable and, of course, essential measures in any business, never to be ignored.
However, is it too simplistic to suggest that if the primary focus were on the delivery of the best client service, then income, profitability etc. would all follow? I think not. Those who genuinely and consistently deliver best in class service, focussed on what a client really needs, delivered in the way they want and when they want it, will deliver the returns the business requires time and again.
Further, this approach will:
allow crucial time and space for genuine client connection and relationship building,
foster more creativity in service delivery,
reward people in ways which salary and benefits alone cannot, and
lead to better retention and improved recruitment - two of the most distracting and costly elements for firms today.
Happy clients and happy people - what's not to like? And the money will take care of itself.