- What do you mean by experience?
We define the experience as the entire journey taken by a customer when encountering the public face, or front stage, of your business before, during and after their interaction with you. It includes every existing, potential, missing or weak aspect and emotion along the way, all considered from the customer’s perspective. From a manager’s viewpoint, the scope and quality of the customer experience you provide will, by and large, determine your sustainable commercial success. That is, unless you wish to compete on the lowest price alone…
- What is Customer Choice Modelling (CCM)?
MindFolio CCM is based on the guiding principle that firms should concentrate on customer choices rather than customer preferences in order to understand what drives customer purchase decisions. Customer choices and preferences are not the same. Simply understanding customer preferences will not reveal what matters most to customers because it is human nature for customers to demand the maximum number of product-service features (value elements) possible. Furthermore, understanding preferences does not lead to an understanding of economic realities present today, because a qualitative assessment of preferences is not linked to financial or pricing metrics. Business, as well as life, is about trade-offs. More of one thing often means less of another, or a higher price or less satisfaction. In the end, a customer will purchase the offering which is most closely aligned with his or her value structure, which may consist of many variables including price, customer service, quality, availability, delivery time, etc. Delivering optimal value to customers is of course a goal for most firms, but achieving such value is easier said than done and requires an understanding of what drives customers to choose them or a competitor. By zooming in on the value elements that drive customer decisions, firms can take actions to capture more market share. CCM is about quantifying what customers will choose to purchase whether the customer is in the market for a product, a service or an experience. CCM research presents various market offerings to customers and makes them choose between them meaning they cannot have everything they might possibly want, and thus by choosing one product or service offering over another they reveal what elements are truly driving their purchase decisions.
- Do you focus on any particular country?
No. We regard the United States, central and northern Europe as natural home markets, as we work, live, or have lived in these countries and maintain extensive business and social networks in each. Fluent in English, French, German and Hindi, we have managed businesses and brands in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, India, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea and we have sourced and negotiated services in Australia, Brazil, Argentina, China, Taiwan and Indonesia. We have great respect for cultural differences and we have also learned that, in most cases, the uniting forces are more prevalent than the dividing ones.
- Who will work on our account?
We apply a simple rule that whoever negotiates the fee with you is also responsible for the work; we don’t have intermediate account managers. Instead, a MindFolio partner will be your direct contact and head every project, leading a carefully selected team.
- What will you charge?
We cost each project according to the scope of our work and the role you want us to take. We never charge for the time it takes us to gain a basic understanding of your business. That’s our investment in the potential relationship. Anything to do with money and fees will be put in writing and it will be very clear when the clock starts. All costs are transparent and there will be no hidden or unexpected charges. As a rule, we do not seek, accept or expect commissions, ‘finder fees’ or any such financial incentives for introducing or recommending other companies to our clients. We realise that has not answered the question, but you’ll obviously know that here is no realistic way that we could do so without context and scope…
- What makes a good client?
Managers who ensure that they get ‘value for money’ from the assignment, because only then will they recommend us to others which is both a personal as well as an economic compliment for us.
- How do I get the best ‘value for money’ from working with consultants?
This is meant to be a helpful response about what we have learned over the years and rather than delving into much operational detail, let us highlight some basics…
Articulate your expectations; define success in meaningful terms!
You’d be surprised how rarely this is done.
Inspire and motivate them
Some people regard consultants as ‘guns for hire’ without much interest in the client’s business beyond the fee agreement. They do not consider or overlook the fact that an inspired, motivated and emotionally committed set of people, ie. consultants, produce even better results. “They should produce good results anyway”, one could hear someone say. True, but that was not the question…
Don’t leave so much value behind
Some managers just wish to receive a report, pay the bill and move onto the next project. That’s OK, but when one considers that even the best written report could not possibly cover all the knowledge, insights and lessons learned during a project, it does seem sensible to spend a little extra time with the consultants after a report has been delivered. We reckon that the client could lose some 20% of formal and informal knowledge if that’s not done. After all, decent consultants do have other experiences too and are usually quite good in seeing the clients business in a wider context.