The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After creating ArchiOffice®, the intelligent office, project management and time tracking solution for architectural firms, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development.

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Focusing on the total client experience

August 28, 2013

Editor's note: This is a sponsored article. All text and images were provided by the sponsor company.


Measuring client satisfaction during the long journey of designing and constructing a building can be a challenge for most AEC firms. 

Although firms commonly use client satisfaction surveys and interviews to assess how well their teams are performing, a new article from Harvard Business Review suggests these tools might not provide an accurate picture of the total client experience. 

While the piece focuses primarily on consumer interactions with businesses, I think the concepts are useful for business-to-business relationships as well. 

Here’s an excerpt: 

“Companies have long emphasized touchpoints – the many critical moments when customers interact with the organization and its offerings on their way to purchase and after. But the narrow focus on maximizing satisfaction at those moments can create a distorted picture, suggesting that customers are happier with the company than they actually are. It also diverts attention from the bigger – and more important – picture: the customer’s end-to-end journey.”

Research conducted by the authors found that most customers weren’t fed up with any one single interaction with a company. Instead, what reduced satisfaction were cumulative experiences across multiple touch points and in multiple channels over time.

They also discovered that businesses that are able to effectively manage the entire customer experience reap numerous rewards: enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue and greater employee satisfaction. These businesses also find more effective ways to collaborate across functions and levels of the organization.

Read an article preview from the September 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review.


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