KKP’s approach to quality and customer service has served its clients well over the course of 30 years of business. John Eady explains how and why quality is central to the Company’s modus operandi.
Maya Angelou, the American poet, singer and civil rights activist, said, “People forget what you said. They forget what you did. But they never forget how you made them feel.”
KKP is a busy consultancy practice with a great many projects running at once and it is easy to get caught up in what we do, what we think we have achieved for our clients and the great service provided. However, although we do excellent work, it is essential never to forget that it is the client that matters most. Great customer service is measured by whether, at the end of the assignments, clients feels that they made the right decision in choosing KKP to deliver the strategy or solve their problem. Even when we disagree with a client’s point of view – and it is fundamentally important that we are able to disagree – it is vital that they know that we are on their side and committed to helping them.
The absolute underpinning of this is quality. Fully rounded, the concept of quality draws upon a wide variety of elements, skills and behaviours: open-mindedness; listening and hearing; knowledge, experience and expert analysis; plus the confidence to reflect and challenge. However, at the top of the list of the essentials of quality would have to be: attitude, communication and commitment to the client’s interest.
KKP first acquired ISO9001 quality certification in 2007 – for project management and delivery – as part of a determination to put quality at the centre of our business. We have been successfully reassessed every year since, up to and including 2019. ISO, in effect, drives continual review and improvement across all work areas. It subjects the organisation to regular interrogation and oversight by expert external assessors but ultimately the quality of our operation will be judged by our clients.
On project completion, all clients are asked to evaluate and rate us on the following criteria:
- The final product delivered: how well we met the brief, attention to detail, the quality of work undertaken and the report/strategy/feasibility study/evaluation produced.
- The quality of client communication, support and advice, both during and after the delivery of the contract.
- On-time delivery and the meeting of deadlines, with regard to overall outcomes and interim project milestones.
- The extent to which they consider us to have delivered value for money.
Between 2014 and December 2019 KKP received completed feedback from 126 clients; two thirds of these were local authorities with the balance from a combination of national governing bodies of sport (NGBs), planning consultancies and developers, universities, leisure trusts and active partnerships. All the feedback we receive is scored and analysed; we believe the results speak for themselves. Most notably, virtually all (more than 97%) would recommend us to others and more than 93% are prepared to be referees.
In 2020 KKP entered its 30th continuous year in business so there is a good chance that our clients know who we are, how we work and what they are going to get in terms of our experience, attitude and ethos. After three decades of working across a range of professional sectors on a wide variety of projects with a huge number of clients, we have come to the conclusion that the process of choosing and working with a consultancy can be boiled down to the following fundamentals:
- Choose a practice that you know will look to learn with you from any subject or situation.
- Work with people who do not come with fixed ideas about how things are supposed to be and how to handle them.
- Value truth and integrity above all other things; they are the key to high-quality consultancy and without them the support you get will be of limited, if any, value.
- Choose people who will go into battle for you (and if necessary – behind closed doors – with you) to ensure the right outcome.
When you are choosing a consultancy keep these fundamentals in mind. Investing in quality is always worth the cost.
Client rating of KKP delivery (as of 31 December 2019)
7 February 2020