This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

July 11, 2000

Professional Going Personal

171 Days until January 1, 2001

Professional services are consumed by practically all of us. We use the services of attorneys, accountants, financial planners, executive coaches, doctors, dentists, architects, physical therapists, and psychologists. The tradition for most of these professionals is to reside in their offices and greet clients or patients who come to them for advice and other services. This practice has worked fine for years, bolstered by the professionals' insistence that their offices had more resources, the right atmosphere, and so forth.

We've moved into an era of personal service. We want to be served, honored, respected, and catered to. Banks promote on-line banking for customer convenience. More restaurants deliver, and many cities now have services that will deliver your dinner from your restaurant of choice. Grocery stores now have prepared meals to go for busy shoppers and more grocers are shopping and delivering for their customers. This list could go on and on, but you get the idea. More and more merchants will bend over backwards to come to you, to bring their service to your door.

A new trend is emerging. Professionals are beginning to go to their clients on a regular basis. Remember the old doctor who made house calls? He/she's back! Some attorneys and accountants now go to their clients' homes and offices to conduct business-on a regular basis. Professionals that would rarely be seen outside their offices are now seldom seen in their offices.

Sure, we've seen this sort of outreach in the past, but such behavior and attention to service has been the exception, rather than the norm. For years we've seen creative approaches such as the accountant, insurance agent, or bank loan officer appearing at client locations in vans and motor homes. These stories have been unusual, capturing the imagination . . . and then dying off as few people picked up on the theme.

While not every professional can-or will-indulge in such aberrant behavior as going to visit their clients, we're seeing more of it happening. Watch for more, especially in service to busy people who don't have time to go to downtown offices.

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