By Alan Boyer | VP of Delivery
Service: No exceptions, no compromises. Our fiduciary responsibility is to ensure that our professional attitudes and actions serve the best business interests of our clients.
This is a pretty lofty goal and a very bold statement. The question is, how do you make this real? What does it look like when you focus on serving the best business interest of your clients? Can we really serve their interests and Akili’s interests?
I recently heard a story of a consulting firm that found themselves conflicted between their business interests and their clients. This firm had a customer that was interested in exploring a migration of their ERP solution to a cloud solution. The firm was purposely steering the customer away from a cloud solution that might have had substantial economic benefits to the customer because the firm did not want to lose existing hosting and managed services contracts.
Definitely not serving the interests of the customer!
In contrast, Akili once assisted a customer in a system selection process. After looking at many options, the client did not feel that any of the solutions identified met their needs. The customer asked Akili to develop a custom solution and we agreed to a contract to make it happen. Before we began the project, we found a solution that would address the customer’s needs. It would have been easy for us to move forward with the project and never tell the customer about another potential solution. But, we took the solution to the customer and told them that they should look at the software.
In the end, we tore up our contract with them and they moved forward with the solution and had a successful project. This was a win-win for Akili and the customer, as Akili did work for this client for many years in various capacities. Investing in our customers in this way has led to many long-term client relationships. These relationships are clearly valuable to Akili and are also incredibly rewarding from a professional standpoint. It is fun to work with others when this kind of trust exists.
We recently had a potential customer ask if they could talk to someone about their experience with one of the solutions we implement. We arranged a meeting with the customer and a CFO that we have worked with for some time. After several questions about the product, the customer was satisfied. Before he ended the call, the CFO asked if he had selected a partner. The customer said that they were not at that point yet. The CFO told him when he was ready to implement, he should choose Akili. When the customer asked why, the CFO said that Akili was the only consulting firm he has worked with that he believed would always tell him the truth.
That is what Service looks like for us.