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Stop Trying to Delight Clients

'Delighting' clients is a goal that puts Herculean pressures on professionals, offers low marginal value to clients, and increases costs of doing business.  So what to do?

When I speak with buyers of services the vast majority provide examples of outstanding service in terms of very straight-forward and human interactions - from the act of visiting the client at their premises or work site, to remembering important meetings for their client and considering what is required beforehand.   So rather than trying to delight clients focus instead on reducing effort - the work clients must do to get their problems solved.  Extending the observations of Dixon, Freeman and Toman (HBR, 2010: Harvard Business Review, 88 (7/8) 116-122) in their research, telling client-facing professionals to "make it easy" for clients gives a solid, even liberating, foundation for action.  

Sue-Ella Prodonovich