One of the key aspects of the service we provide to clients is that it must be personal. Clients have their own dedicated consultant who knows and understands their business, and with whom they can build up a long-term relationship. We don’t operate any kind of helpline service whereby clients ring up and can get a different person every time. This approach has several advantages:
It makes the quality of advice we give much higher
Advice can be tailored to the client. A consultant who understands the realities of the business in question, the structure, the culture and the preferred approach of the business owner can give specific advice on how best to handle that particular situation in those particular circumstances. Advice becomes far more than what the legal obligations or restrictions are, it is more practical, realistic and business-focused. Advice can also be given in the format and tone that best suits the client.
It makes clients more likely to seek advice earlier
If clients know that their consultant knows their business well and has been involved in issues historically, they are more likely to pick up the phone at an earlier stage in a problem, which reduces the likelihood of escalation. Our regular review visits with retainer clients also achieve this. A client will be able to say to their consultant “Oh Joan is off sick again”, or “our punctuality problem with the sales team has come back”, and will get practical advice based on a historical understanding of the issues. Telephoning a helpline will involve either lengthy explanations of background or advice based only on one incident rather than using the overall picture to inform a strategy.
It improves client retention rates
It’s very unusual for clients who are on a retainer with us to terminate the arrangement, and if it happens it is usually because of a change in client circumstances. Similarly, ad hoc clients who don’t need the retainer will usually maintain a relationship with their consultant and will come back for advice next time they need assistance. A client who has a personal relationship with a consultant is far less likely to look elsewhere than someone who is just paying £x per month for access to a helpline.
It’s more rewarding for consultants
Building personal relationships with clients makes this job so much more rewarding. You can see how they benefit from your advice, and working regularly with people fills a bit of that gap you have if you’re self-employed with no immediate colleagues. The personal relationship you have with clients also means they often start to involve you more in their business, share business plans with you and seek your opinions.