Expectations of the Professional Services industry have changed over recent years, with 93% of Executives believing last year saw particular scrutiny, leading to significant changes being made across the sector. Responding to the revelation that clients now expect more value, higher quality, more transparency and faster delivery, firms are upping the stakes and investing in new ways of working.
Questioned by professional services firm, Mavenlink, in January of this year, 80% of Executives said they’ve seen an increase in competition, compared to the 62% who agreed the year before. This competition, whilst allowing more choice and greater value for clients, isn’t all good for the firms themselves, and it’s not just coming from human intelligence either, with tech being lauded as the biggest disruptor of all. Big data, social sites and an expectancy of services ‘anytime, anywhere’, are all leading to an upheaval of the way in which clients are expecting their services. With the introduction of online marketplaces, such as GoCompare, people are no longer complacent about sticking to one provider but instead choosing different firms for different tasks, searching for cheaper alternative options. Freelancer sites such as People per Hour have also seen a rise in popularity, commoditizing professional services and connecting millions of people with one-off services.
This move away from a loyalty-led market to buffet-style doesn’t just extend to clients but employees too, with 75% of professional services firms expecting their turnover to grow this year. A rise in outsourcing has also been seen, a move that has produced shockingly positive results, with those utilizing contractors reporting both higher growth and higher morale.
These statistics prove that it’s important for change to be embraced instead of ignored, lest you join the 2/3rds of today’s major companies expected to collapse over the next 25 years. These firms are set to be replaced by companies that are looking into ways technology can help rather than hinder them.
Luckily professional services firms are embracing automation, from integrating automated marketing platforms into their marketing strategy, to AI systems being utilized to reduce time spent on analytical tasks. Worries that these implementations could lead to problems with the new GDPR rulings have so far been unfounded.
“Service organisations are facing more external pressures than ever before, materializing as increased competition, compressed delivery timelines, and tighter margins. These compounding pressures are driving significant transformation, pushing us to a new era of services delivery.” – Ray Grainger, CEO, Mavenlink