Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Client Service Sweet Spot

In the April 2008 issue of Harvard Business Review, there's a terrific article by David J. Collis and Michael G. Rukstad titled: Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?  While I'm sure you can guess what the article is about, I was struck by a chart that wasn't specific to client service but on point with regard to what we experience in the professional services business.

At the intersection of three circles labeled Company's Capabilities, Competitors' Offerings, and Customers' Needs, you'll notice that the sweet spot isn't located at the center of where the circles intersect, but right between customer and company. I've always believed we should pay close attention to our competitors and learn from them, but we shouldn't let preoccupation with our competitors interfere with the fundamental relationship we share with our clients.   This chart is a great reminder of that point - that the sweet spot is not always located in the center.

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