Local brand experience design firm Kristian Andersen + Associates just got fired. It was an amicable divorce, but getting dumped is part of the consulting business, right?
On the KA+A blog, Kristian Andersen writes:
Recently we were informed by a client, with whom we had been working for several months, that they were moving their account to a design shop, located in a very large city on the east coast. It wasn’t ugly or contentious, there were no angry words, or overt slights – it was all quite civilized. But that didn’t temper the sting of rejection. This particular relationship was, by our standards, extremely short-lived.
[To quote] the AMC drama Mad Men: “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.”
A business relationship begins at the moment of a signature and a handshake. Yet, as the old adage of the advertising and marketing business concludes, retaining clients is a losing battle. No one knows when the partnership will end. All the firm can do is work hard and try to keep the customer happy.
The reason many consulting companies attempt to keep clients forever is that there’s no expectation that the company will ever be in a position to succeed without outside expertise. Indeed, Andersen’s story is not about a company that decided they no longer needed brand experience design. Rather, the customer decided to switch to a different design shop. Luckily for service consultancies and reputable user experience gurus in general, assistance with marketing, visual design, brand management, advertising, copy-writing, media buys or any of the other services of the PR/marketing/design industry will always be needed until companies go out of business or start their own department. Outsourced services usually do not rub off on internal people.
This concept of infinite consulting involvement is the essential difference between service consultancies (like KA+A) and instructional consultancies (like AccelaWork.) Our goal is to help you improve workflow and productivity through comprehensive training and re-engagement. We don’t expect to be involved with you for more than 12-18 months. Believe it or not, we are in the business of getting rid of clients.
Every business has non-core functions that are best addressed by service consultancies. If you need help with accounting, legal services, marketing, public relations, catering, event planning or cleaning your facilities, it makes sense to consider hiring outside experts. Of course, businesses also have core functions with productivity and workflow challenges, which are areas that can benefit tremendously from productivity experts; however, such engagements should be limited.
As we see it, there are times when you need to buy fish at a supermarket and times when you need help learning how to fish. If workflow issues stifle your success, contact our consultants at AccelaWork. We’re in the business of helping you and your business move forward.