Businesses depend heavily on consultants who are useful in carrying out technical problems or tasks that arise in an organization. Consultants are usually specialists with skills, experience and knowledge used to drive a particular business activity. They oversee the implementation of a business activity that the organisation was unable to carry out or lacked the expertise and the manpower.
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Strategic planning is part of change and consultants are seen as the drivers of change in organisations. In general, consultants provide solutions to manage problems by carrying out operations towards a specific function. The report is based on the marketing department that has sought consultancy in coming up with a strategy that seeks a new market for its products.
The report develops strategies that can be used to develop effective client relationships with the marketing department. It also gives the importance of having an effective client and consultant relationships. Lastly, it provides supporting research on how client consulting relationships can be maintained.
Strategies for developing effective client and consultant relationships
Effective client and consultant relationships are usually developed through various strategies. Close interaction and communication between the parties bonds the relationship. This builds trust, transparency, and emotional confidence among other attributes which are necessary in building effective communication.
The bond that is build on trust based on communication is lasts longer as both the client and the consultant feel free around each other and are more likely to be more open. Providing the best solution and responding quickly when a problem arises deepens the relationship between the two parties.
This has been supported by LaBonte and Necessary (2007) who note that relationships are build on the value and commitment a consultant brings and has in ensuring the client’s business succeeds. This kind of strategy can be adopted to ensure an effective clients-consultant relationship is developed and maintained. Socializing with the clients outside the office which is a more open space deepens the relationships.
This can be realised through dinner arrangements or attending of social functions where the client and the consultant interact. However, when using this kind of strategy it is advisable to be aware of the policies that guide the client as far as gifting and entertainment is concerned.
This is because some companies have laws and ethical policies that prohibit gifts and dinners or they have limitations on the two. This way the consultant becomes aware and does not end up crossing boundaries that may jeopardize the relationship.
Importance of an effective client and consultant relationship
Client and consultant relationship is the association that exists between the client and the consultant (Briggs, 2010).The success of an operation that an organisation is seeking consultancy on, depends on the relationship quality that exists between the consultant and the business unit. This is achieved through proper open communication and understanding between the parties involved.
According to Kubr and International Labour office (2002) the success depends on client and the consultants and they should be aware of the factors that may have effect on their relationship so as to avoid any errors that may occur in the process and jeopardize the working of the two. If the relationship between the client and the consultant is not effective, then the goals of the consulting would not be achieved in first place.
Wrangles and costs are reduced if the clients and consultants involved collaborate and work together with an understanding. This benefits both the client and the consultants as the parties can achieve their goals. Effective relationship builds the emotional confidence and trust between the client and the consultant. This increases the rate at which the consultant can effectively use their expertise to come up with the solution being sought.
For example, a client and consultant relationship that is not based on trust and emotional confidence has the likelihood of not being effectively executed. However, if the trust and emotional confidence levels are high, then a vehicle that determines future decisions that the consultant may make regarding the solutions to particular issue is realised.
The relationship establishes a credibility that benefits the consultants and the clients (LaBonte & Necessary, 2007). This is because the client is able to get the required services from the consultant thus strengthening the business through the offered expertise. The consultant gets a job and executes it well improving the functionality of the company as well as restoring the reputation.
Because of the good service offered the consultant can be recommended to do the same or related task to the same company or another. Lastly, the survival of consulting firms depends on the interaction between the client and the consultant (Briggs, 2010). This means that a consultant has to play great role in ensuring that clients remain faithful and loyal. However, the relationship is mutually shared by the two parties.
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Supporting research on managing client consulting relationships
Managing the relationship between client and consultant is not always easy (Kabur & International labour Office, 2002). Proper interactions and communications manage client consulting relationships. By being result oriented manages the consulting relations. This is supported by a case study between the city of Winnipeg and Deloitte.
By making the operations applications effective, efficient, and a success, the management of the City of Winnipeg praised the success terming the work as excellent (Briggs, 2010).
From the case study it is clear that Deloitte was able to understand the environment, get committed and collaborate ensuring that the assignment was a success. This kind of relationships that results to success indicates how client consulting relationships can be managed.
If the client had another job, the probability of giving it to Deloitte remains high because of the good work the company did. By overcoming the challenges that City of Winnipeg faced and working with style based on open communication, a closer manageable relationship between the two parties was achieved (Briggs, 2010). This encouraged the upkeep of client consulting relationship.
In conclusion, consultants are important and their expertise, skills, knowledge, skills and experience are important in problem solving or strategic planning. The relationship that exists between the client and consultant can be developed through open communication and interaction. Building trust and confidence also ensures that the relationship develops effectively.
A consultant can deepen and develop a relationship through socialization process with the clients. It can also be achieved by bringing value and being committed to the success of the company. The relationship between client and consultant is important because it ensures the success of the company.
It also builds trust and confidence between the two parties as well as reducing extra costs. Lastly, it makes sure that both the client and consultant are credible in their field. The consulting relationship can be managed through commitment, learning the environment and collaborating with the client.
Biggs, D. (2010). Management consulting: A guide for students. Andover: Cengage Learning EMEA.
LaBonte, T., & Necessary, M. (2007). Stand firm in quest for true data. 52-53. Web.
Kubr, M., & International Labour Office. (2002). Management consulting: A guide to the profession. Geneva: ILO.