Clients, like the canaries that were used in coal mines to detect lethal gas, are the best early predictors that a firm is in trouble21 July 2014
In fact, they seem to sense that there are problems ahead well before the business leaders or owners do.
The research conducted by Beaton Research+Consulting over a 10 year period has identified that independent measures of client satisfaction started to fall steadily years before any effective action was taken to arrest the declining fortunes of the business. For many it was a case of too little, too late, and the businesses are no longer around. The revelation is that the performance of the failing businesses slid in the eyes of their clients during a time that the businesses were all internally focused for a variety of reasons.
If a business is struggling, little things that impact on customers are allowed to slip. There don’t have to be huge errors or a major disruption of client services for this to happen. Rather its an accumulation of small problems that include business representatives and managers “seeming preoccupied” or “offhand”.