We always talk about what makes a good consultant but nobody mentions the customer and how they could make all the difference to the consultation.
If you are asking a consultant to come in and come up with solutions to the issues you have then there are some key points you need to consider.
If you are asking for actions to resolve the issues then you need to understand that your business needs to be part of those actions and actively wants to take part. If as the lead, you think it shouldn’t be you, then be clear on who will lead within the business and who will fully support the consultant in making the changes needed. Make sure that person is in the discussions so they are fully aware of their responsibilities and has the opportunity to input.
Next be open and honest with what is going on in the business. No holds barred otherwise the Management consultant won’t have the full facts and will recommend a course of actions that won’t necessarily improve the position. In turn, you won’t be satisfied with the outcomes.
If the consultation is to be successful then the business needs to invest time and create opportunities for the employees to talk to the consultant and potentially have team meetings as part of the consultation process. Part of the success will be increasing employee engagement by involving them. Additionally, as the employees are part of the front line they will have ideas for improvements and potentially new opportunities to share.
A consultant will usually ask what policies and other documents you have as this gives insight and evidence to support any recommendations they make. They will ask for customer feedback and complaints information as this could indicate where issues are that need taking forward. Don’t hold back, share these otherwise the consultant isn’t getting the full picture.
Most of all if getting a consultant in, be eager to work with them and see it as an opportunity to grow your business. A keen attitude makes all the difference to getting a successful outcome.
Do you think there are any other attributes you need as a consultant’s customer?