Recently we, Pangea Consultants, have been inundated with requests from companies using Dynamics 365 that are considering migrating from their existing Tech consulting firm and working with Pangea Consultants. Transitions from one consulting firm to another are not something to be taken lightly. They involve time, energy, and frustrations, both from the client and consulting firm side, due to the learning curve required by both parties in working together. Whenever we receive these requests, we sit down (or via MS Teams) to discuss why the company would like to transition to a new firm and its transition costs.
During these conversations, there are always 2 topics that are addressed:
Dissatisfaction with the current consulting firm’s performance.
Dissatisfaction with the current consulting firm’s performance. Perceived value (read between the lines, cost).
The interesting component of both these topics is they are interrelated to a certain extent.
This is common when a company either “feels” or has hard metrics that the firm they are working with is not delivering the expected level of service or product as per agreed upon documentation and contract. I say “feels” and hard metrics because one is quantifiable, the other is not. Hard metrics include performance, delivery, support case close times, and responsiveness, to name a few. “Feel” relates to how a person perceives the service provided based on their experience and frame of reference. The problem with both is expectation. Companies and Consulting firms might have vastly different expectations in terms of service, and if this is not discussed, communicated to the stakeholders, and executed during every meeting, then at some point, there is going to be dissatisfaction. Client, Consulting firm relationships are like a marriage. There will be ups and downs, but the end goal is to keep a healthy relationship going.
When this occurs, and a prospect calls us, we work with them to identify if the issue truly is the consulting firm, and sometimes it is, or the client company has a set of expectations that are not in line with their consulting firm. Many times, when they are not in line, it is due to perceived value.
Perceived value, in its purest distillation, is cost. This is for a good reason, if you “feel” that you are not receiving sufficient value for the services or product rendered, then you need to look for another service or product provider. Perceived value directly impacts satisfaction. We generally decline engagement if a company simply seeks to lower costs, regardless of satisfaction with the consulting firm. The reason for this is simple, if the company does not value your goods or services and is simply looking for discounts on rates and licenses, then Pangea is not the right fit as we focus on delivering an exceptional level of service, which has an associated cost.
These types of potential clients will never be truly pleased with the service provided and will constantly be looking for the lowest cost provider while consistently hammering you on price. When a company communicates that they do not feel that the value provided by their existing firm does not mesh with their expectations, then we identify why. “Is the consulting firm overbilling for goods and services?” “Does the company have an expectation of ‘free work’ when they ‘change their mind’ on a deliverable?” These are critical questions to ask prior to a transition to a new Consulting firm.
The end goal of these conversations is to ensure that both you and the potential client are aligned with regards to expectations and deliverables. As previously mentioned, the transition costs and headaches involved in this process are sometimes not well understood. Still, they exist, and no matter how much you try to mitigate them, they will definitely impact the transition and the end-user experience. It is essential that both parties analyze the impact this will have on their operations before entering into a new relationship. A successful transition will provide great, long-term benefits to both the Client and Consulting firm when all parties agree.