How to shine in the professional services sector

05 Dec 2018
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Professional services can be highly competitive and as of 2018, this sector made up 15% of the UK GDP. However, the world of professional services is continuously evolving, meaning those operating within the sector need to do more to stand out and differentiate themselves. Yet, while you’re busy undertaking your day-to-day roles and responsibilities, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to best spend your time and resources. For our blog this week, we’re giving you our top tips for standing out in the professional services sector and the steps you can take to make a big difference.

 

Broaden your knowledge
Knowledge is power, especially within professional services. When you share expert advice, the frequency of communication is equally as important as what you choose share. This is because the more you project your ideas and expertise, the more people will perceive you as an expert. However, in order to be able to share this expert advice, you’ll first need to broaden and enhance your understanding, especially in terms of technical knowledge with a structured development plan. To achieve this, you should set smaller goals for each quarter and larger goals spanning across a sixth month to one-year period.

 

Enhance communication skills
In a competitive industry, it’s crucial that you treat each client or customer as though they are your top priority to help maximise retention rates. According to Forbes, 75% of customers state that they consider the quality of customer service as a measure of company competence. However, it’s crucial to remember that communication skills can always be enhanced through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses at any point in your career and this ability should be reviewed consistently to ensure continuously high standards of practice.

 

Meet client expectations
As well as industry changes, client expectations are also evolving, and research shows that these are increasing. According to Consultancy, clients now expect ‘more value, higher quality of work, and a faster delivery of solutions and services.’ This research also showed that in the last 12 months, 89% of service executives stated that they had expanded service offerings for clients. However, if you wish to elevate yourself against industry peers, it’s crucial to ensure you set out goals and objectives at an early stage and communicate this effectively to your clients to help meet their expectations as early as possible.

 

Consider a CFE qualification
With government estimates stating that fraud loss in the public sector is between £31 billion and £49 billion every year, fraud is an increased risk for all sectors and increasingly so, professional services. For example, the Independent reported that half of UK companies have been a victim of fraud or economic crime in the past two years, so it seems that this is an epidemic facing businesses on a daily basis. This is where a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) course can prove most helpful and a necessary credential. This course can help individuals by providing them with the knowledge, skills, experience and resources to combat the increasing risk of fraud across the globe. Having a CFE in every organisation can help to widen fraud awareness and help the workforce identify red flags. 

 

Standing out in professional services can be a difficult feat, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult as sectors continue to evolve in the digital age. However, there are things that you can do and structures that you can put in place to ensure continued professional development, regardless of your seniority. Undertaking training such as a CFE or CPD course can help you to make significant improvements to your personal and professional development. So, if you’d like to speak to a member of our team about any of our upcoming courses, contact us today on 02920 451 000 or email us at altior@kaplan.co.uk