In the first part of our post, we discussed the negatives that can arise in the ever-present drive for greater practice efficiency, specifically when too much is delegated back to clients.
The reason why all of this matters is that the steps we’ve taken for granted as being good for our efficiency amounts to negative hassles, burdens or outright poor service from the client’s perspective. On the one hand, we improve the value and the efficiency of the relationship for ourselves by delegating the work to the client. And the other hand, we reduce the value and the efficiency of the relationship for our clients by giving them more work to do, for what is probably the same fee we charged them in the past!
And that’s before recognizing the irony that many planning firms profess that their greatest value is helping their clients delegate work and responsibility—founded on a relationship that dumps more work and responsibility back onto the client in the first place!?
Of course, the reality is that for at least some business models, this consequence isn’t entirely avoidable. If the firm works with more middle-market clients and requires a certain volume of clients just to survive, it simply may not be feasible to visit clients at their location of choice. Alternatively, if the firm charges on an hourly basis, clients may even prefer to do more of the data gathering work themselves, to try to make the time “on the clock” with the planner more efficient and save themselves some financial cost.
Nonetheless, the fact of the matter is that if firms are going to effectively outsource these workloads to clients, it’s crucial to at least recognize the implicit trade-off, not only in terms of how it makes things easier for the planner, but also about how it may make the process harder, or outright undesirable, from the client’s perspective!
The Alternative to Client Outsourcing