Consulting firms ranging from the Big 4 to Regional Firms looking to deliver Managed Services and establish strong long-term client relationships must adopt a fundamentally new set of behaviors across various marketing, sales, and operational delivery teams. This requires a nuanced approach to change management that should be viewed as an exciting journey in Managed Services competencies for a consulting firm. Successful execution of this transformation will allow consulting firms to serve their client’s needs better and act as a more effective partner when a consulting or managed services delivery model is appropriate.
The following four competencies are critical for a consulting firm to excel in managed services.
World Class Operations: Implementing operational processes to ensure quality and consistency in the delivery of managed services is essential for a consulting firm to meet the outsourcing needs of its client. This involves:
Setting up procedures and processes
Developing documentation standards and formats
Training staff on best practices
Ensuring exceptional customer communication protocols are followed
Providing adequate resources, both internal and external (such as software tools), to facilitate service delivery
Monitoring performance against key indicators such as time to market or customer satisfaction levels
Additionally, it might be necessary to integrate internal operations with third-party systems to obtain data or enable workflow automation.
Understanding Marketing: To promote managed services, an effective marketing strategy is required. This involves:
Understanding your target customer and developing content that resonates
Analyzing existing market trends to identify growth opportunities
Leveraging digital channels such as social media or email campaigns to promote services
Creating partnerships with industry influencers and organizations that can help spread awareness of your business
Customer outreach via online advertising and other mediums
Developing strategies (such as discount and reward programs) that drive engagement
The Managed Services Customer Experience: In a managed services relationship, the client experience is driven and nurtured by data and the ability to engage organizationally. Establishing a customer experience feedback loop can drastically improve services over time. This involves collecting customer feedback to inform changes in operations, process improvements, or new service offerings. Additionally, analyzing data on customer usage of your services can yield insights into how well different aspects of the service are being utilized or where opportunities for improvement lie. Finally, staying on top of trends in technology or industry regulations may be necessary to ensure your offering remains up-to-date and competitive.
Smart Pricing: Competitive, profitable, and scalable pricing models are another key element of a successful consulting firm. Therefore, firms must consider factors such as project size, the level of service required, resources needed, and estimated time to completion. Further, it’s essential to consider how pricing should be structured to remain competitive while maximizing profits – this could mean setting up tiered pricing or packages that offer different service levels at varying price points. Lastly, ensuring your services can scale with customer demand is vital for long-term success; this means understanding which areas require strategic investment versus where costs can be kept low.
In Summary: Implementing operational processes, marketing strategies, customer feedback loops, and developing competitive pricing models are all critical components for a successful consulting firm to deliver high-quality, consistent, managed services to its clients. Consulting firms can ensure that service delivery is optimal by establishing metrics, setting up procedures and processes, developing documentation standards, and training staff. Developing effective marketing strategies, partnerships, and online outreach is instrumental in promoting managed services to the target customer base. Establishing a customer experience feedback loop enables firms to improve services and stay ahead of the competition continually. Finally, developing competitive and scalable pricing models ensures that consulting firms remain profitable and meet the varied needs of their clients.
About the Author: Ben Trowbridge is an accomplished Outsourcing Advisor with extensive experience in outsourcing and managed services. As a former EY Partner and CEO of Alsbridge, he built successful practices in Transformational Outsourcing, BPO, IT Outsourcing, and Cybersecurity Managed Services. Throughout his career, Ben has advised a broad range of clients on outsourcing and global business services strategy and transactions. As the current CEO of the Outsourcing Center, he provides valuable insights and guidance to buyers and managed services executives. Contact him at [email protected].